Vanessa Van Ryswood, who lives in Eastham, recommends We Planted a Tree, a poem by Diane Muldrow. The illustrations are by Bob Staake, who lives in Chatham.
In the book, families in different corners of the world each plant a tree, and “the trees grew up and the families grew up.” Which reminds Vanessa of a family tree story of her own. “We have a huge old tree planted in the yard by my daddy when he was a little boy,” she says. “That was his first Christmas tree.”
Vanessa likes that “the book has different places in it, like Africa, Paris, and New York.” Reading it, you’re reminded of ways trees make the world a better place. For example, she says, “They help us breathe better, and when it’s hot out you can sit under it and get cooled off.”
Both poetry month and Earth Day are in April, and to mark both occasions, the Eastham Public Library presented We Planted a Tree as one of its story walk books. That means, Vanessa explains, “you can walk around outside, you can read the book outside, and you don’t have to just sit in one place and flip the pages over.”
Story walk was completed in October 2021 with funds from a federal grant through the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners, says Fran McLoughlin, the youth services librarian. Readers can follow a path around the library to read a different book each month, she says.
“The illustrations are different,” Vanessa notes. “It looks like they were made using a computer.” Her favorite drawing is one where a brother and sister sit under the shade of a tree and read. —Agata Storer