On Our Shelves Now
A fact-filled story about a little girl and an evergreen tree that grow up side by side. Perfect for anyone who loves the natural world—or wonders about the origins of their holiday tree.
On the morning little Zee Cooper is born, a Douglas-fir seedling emerges from the nursery bed at her family’s Christmas tree farm. As Zee and the tree grow up together, they experience many of the same milestones. When Zee starts preschool, her tree is ready to start life outside the nursery. As Zee outgrows all her clothes, her tree grows taller, too. When Zee gets a whole new look for kindergarten, her tree gets a spiffy transformation as well. And as the years go on, Zee takes loving care of her tree, watering it through heat waves and protecting it from winter winds. Combining interesting details about how trees are grown and cared for on a farm with the sweet story of a friendship between a girl and her special tree, Zee Grows a Tree offers a blend of fiction and nonfiction that will draw the interest of young nature lovers everywhere. In the back of the book, readers will find an index, bibliography, and an author’s note suggesting some ways to enjoy a holiday tree without cutting one down.
About the Author
Elizabeth Rusch is an award-winning author of fifteen books for children, many of which have received multiple starred reviews. Her titles include The Mighty Mars Rover; Ready, Set . . . Baby!; The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori and the Invention of the Piano; and Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World. Elizabeth Rusch lives in Portland, Oregon.
Will Hillenbrand has written and illustrated dozens of books. He is the illustrator of Bear in Love and Bear and Bunny, both by Daniel Pinkwater, and I’m a Duck by Eve Bunting. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
On the day that Zee was born, a Douglas-fir seedling planted on her parents’ Christmas tree farm began growing. As Zee grew up and developed, so did the tree. This beautifully designed picture book follows their development, showing readers how Zee and the tree changed and grew over time...This title is a brilliant combination of storytelling and factual information. The narrative celebrates a caring family and a young girl’s growing love of nature. The information adds to readers’ understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Highly recommended.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
A little girl and a Douglas fir grow together on a Christmas tree farm...Informative factual text about Douglas firs and their care accompanies each stage of Zee’s and her tree’s parallel growth while gentle, realistic illustrations, rendered in soft color washes, visually chronicle their emerging relationship. Zee and her parents present White. A delightful blend of fact and fiction.
In simple prose, Rusch details Zee’s life from birth to age eight, paralleling her yearly milestones with the tree’s, the growth of which is bolstered by the compassionate care the child provides. . . Hillenbrand’s mixed-media illustrations employ a soft, classic picture book style, with dot-eyed human figures in a sweet, friendly palette. Aspiring botanists will welcome this detailed examination of Douglas-firs.