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The Children's Bookshelf: Leafy Landmarks: Travels with Trees - April 7, 2024

Leafy Landmarks: Travels with Trees written by Michelle Schaub and illustrated by Anne Lambelet is a beautiful road trip for the whole family as they visit fourteen historic places where unbelievably gorgeous trees have their home. The writer delightfully tells each of the stories in one of fourteen different poetic forms including quatrain, sedoka, two voice and concrete poetry.

Mom, Dad, two children and the family dog drive across the country looking for and enjoying the sites of these beautiful trees. Each visit is filled with information, history, colorful details, and great beauty as the writer and illustrator work together here so creatively.

In Washington D.C. the family visits the gorgeous and colorful Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees, the Titans, the tallest trees on earth located in California’s Redwood National Park and the General Sherman found in California’s Sequoia National Park. The author of this interesting book tells the young reader about the height, width, and location of each of the fourteen trees.

The invitation to HIT THE ROAD is written in poetic quatrain form at the beginning of the book:

“Come take an arbor road trip

in search of sites TREE- mendous;

landmarks of the timber kind,

with stories quite stupendous.”

The back materials urge the reader to Be a Tree Champion and Take a Tree Road Trip.

Leafy Landmarks: Travels with Trees is a gorgeous and informative book for readers 6-9 years of age. (Sleeping Bear Press) 2024.

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the activity questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for Leafy Landmarks: Travels with Trees
The Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees are shown in full bloom. Study the picture. Next, think about how you could portray one of these gorgeous trees by first drawing and cutting out 25 of its pink flowers. Then use a clear tape to attach each flower to your body. Lastly, be that tree and move gently in the wind.

Next, look at the picture of the Giant Sequoia that is named the General Sherman. It is 275 feet tall but not growing from the top anymore. Stand up and become this Giant Sequoia. Remember, it is not growing from the top and that will impact on your shape.

In the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle there is a wishing tree. It is a Cedar Tree with hundreds of wishes attached to it. Do you have some wishes? Think about it. They can be serious or funny. Then write one of your wishes down on a card and attach it to a tree in your garden area. You can use a colorful ribbon with which to attach it.




Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.