The Gravity Tree

Here’s a book I’ve been wanting to see… And after seeing it, I had to share it for Perfect Picture Book Friday. Anyone who knows me is probably aware that I am a lover of trees. And fascinated by history. So putting those together in a picture book is pretty irresistible! I hope you’ll check out The Gravity Tree. 

The Gravity Tree: The True Story of a Tree that Inspired the World

Written by: Anna Crowley Redding 

Illustrated by: Yas Imamura

Suitable for ages: 6-10

Themes/topics: science, trees, discovery


A tree might seem like a rather ordinary thing. But hundreds of years ago, a tree was about to embark on an extraordinary journey. And it all started with just a speck of a seed. Inside that tiny black shell was enough potential to change the world.



A tree may seem like a rather ordinary thing. But hundreds of years ago, a tree was about to embark on an extraordinary journey. And it all started with just a speck of a seed. . . .

It began in the 1600s with a seed that became the tree that grew the apple that fell right before Isaac Newton’s eyes. This seemingly simple event sparked one of the greatest scientific discoveries—Newton’s theory of gravity! A chain reaction of ideas and discoveries followed from the likes of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, who traveled to the place where these scientific journeys began—Isaac’s tree.

From rocketing into space to adorning the queen’s carriage, the Gravity Tree’s unexpectedly remarkable and true life story is a tale for the ages.

Activities and Resources:

Compare and contrast this story to other picture books about trees, such as:

            A Tree in the Courtyard by Jeff Gottesfeld

            Branches of Hope: The 9/11 Survivor Tree by Ann Magee

            The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

What can you learn from nature? Choose one item in nature and write a poem or draw a picture to show what it means to you.

Point of View: Imagine you are the Gravity Tree. What would you say to someone who visited you?


Why I like this book:

I’ve always loved the idea of imaging what an old tree or wonder of nature has seen in its existence. The idea of the steadfastness and endurance of a natural wonder long beyond the life of a human shifts thinking and amazes with the majesty and power of nature to inspire. This story is fascinating and beautifully told. And I like the way it “puts us humans in our place” within the scope of the world – and universe!

If you have another favorite TREE story, please share it in the comments below.

Congratulations to Ann Harrell! You’ve won Kirsti Call’s giveaway of COLD TURKEY! 

Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.


16 thoughts on “The Gravity Tree

  1. What a great way to examine science! My favorite tree books are: The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear, ilust. by Chris Turnham; Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht, illust. by Jarvis; & The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins, illust by Jill McElmurry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great pic, Beth! This is a great story!

    When is the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago. When is the 2nd best time to plant a tree? Right now. I wish I could remember where I read that….

    Another thought: If only trees could talk…like Katherine Applegate’s Wishtree.

    I also love Be a Tree by Maria Gianferrari, The Wish Tree by Kyo MacLear, The Tree in Me by Corinna Luyken, Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel (an older book, but one that will tug at your heart), The Wisdom of Trees by Lita Judge, and Survivor Tree by Marcie Colleen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing! A couple of my favorite children’s books about trees are: A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry. It’s a classic! I also love Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter. It’s about environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Prize, Wangari Maathai.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOVE this book…and love your activities and the other ‘tree’ books you mentioned, Beth! And thanks to the other comments, I now have a huge list of great picture books with a tree theme! How about KATE WHO TAMED THE WIND by Liz Scanlon? And of course, there is STUCK by Oliver Jeffers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.