Thursday, March 21, 2024

One Day This Tree Will Fall by Leslie Barnard Booth

Anyone else enjoying the beginning of Spring growth? We do have a few nights still, which hit pretty hard (26 degrees), but in general, things are warming up and blossoms are popping up here and there. I've already planted my first seeds and have seedlings growing in the living room window. So, today's read seems to hit with perfect timing. This one does appear on the shelves early next week, which might work great for themes surrounding nature and more....

Or I hope so. Honestly, I don't even know quite what this one is about (I just glanced over the blurb). Guess it's time to dive in and find out!

by Leslie Barnard Booth
Illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8


Discover how a tree’s wounds and decay bring new life to the forest ecosystem in this lyrical nonfiction picture book for fans of Because of an Acorn and A Stone Sat Still.

When a tree falls, is its story over?

There are many ways a tree’s story could Gobbled up by a bird as a tiny seed. Damaged by wind or ice or fire. Chopped down and hauled away. But some trees—this tree—survives. And grows old. Riddled with scars, cracks, and crevices, it becomes a place creatures large and small call home.

One day, after standing tall for centuries, this tree will fall. But even then, is its story over? Or will it continue to nurture the forest and its creatures for many years to come? Complete with additional information about the role trees play in a forest ecosystem, this sweeping story invites readers of all ages to celebrate the incredible life cycle and afterlife of trees.


The wonder of the cycle of life comes across in a heart-warming and touching way.

While beginning with the lovely illustration of a tree, which is decaying and about to fall, the tale immediately switches to when the seed of that tree first found root. Page by page, the tree grows and matures, but life isn't as calm and monotone as might first appear. Yet, every hurdle opens the door to more life and change...even at the very end.

With a poetic atmosphere, this read illustrates the path a tree takes from the first seed to the last, rotting moments on the ground. While this might seem like a straight forward process, the author and illustrator go beyond the general stages of growth and, instead, visit the various challenges and situations a tree comes up against. Changing weather, fires, and even human activities create changes, which affect the surrounding environment and the tree's ability to thrive. This is balanced out with the wonder of life as the tree meets each moment and continues to mature. Each stage offers new surprises, making this a positive read through-and-through.

The text is kept short and hits the intended audience level nicely. The short phrases accompany the beautiful illustrations and bring an almost poetic atmosphere, while stating only enough to keep the events clear. It creates a calming read-aloud and balances with the illustrations, allowing them to give the right impact with each scene. 

The continuous cycle of life comes across nicely and leaves with a sense of respect and hope. This read works not only as a lovely read for those quieter moments but can be used in conjunction with a fitting theme in a group or classroom setting.

And here they are...

Leslie Barnard Booth is the author of A Stone Is a Story and One Day This Tree Will Fall. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, attended Pomona College and later earned an MFA in creative writing and an MS in education from the University of Oregon. Leslie lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves exploring the natural world with her family. Visit her at

Stephanie Fizer Coleman is an illustrator with a penchant for playful color and rich texture. She is the illustrator of many books, including Five Flying PenguinsBird Count, and Time to Fly. Stephanie grew up in a rural area, so it’s no surprise that furry and feathered creatures are her favorite subjects to draw. When she’s not drawing, Steph can be found sipping tea and reading books. She lives in West Virginia with her husband and two dogs. Learn more at

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