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.
Title: 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.