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Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree
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Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Deep in the forest, in the warm-wet green, 1 almendro tree grows, stretching its branches toward the sun. Who makes their homes here?

2 great green macaws,
4 keel-billed toucans,
8 howler monkeys,
16 fruit bats,
32 fer-de-lance vipers,
64 agoutis,
128 blue morpho butterflies,
256 poison dart frogs,
512 rusty wandering spiders,
1,024 leafcutter ants.

Count each and every one as life m
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published August 11th 2015 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  244 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Nancy Kotkin
Text: 4 stars
Illustrations: 3 stars

Nonfiction picture book about the rainforest. The text focuses on the function(s) of each animal in the rainforest ecosystem, but I would have also liked a couple sentences about the animal itself. I'm still not sure what an agouti is, or how a rusty wandering spider differs from other types of spider. I love the natural way the math is blended into the book, and the word problems that appear at the end.

The illustrations are attractive but they don't correspond
Aliza Werner
Kate Messner does it again! A nonfiction picture book told as a story, accompanied by captions, packed with facts about the ecosystem surrounding the almendro tree in a tropical rainforest. Numbers of animal populations play an engaging mathematical role in the book. Brightly illustrated, kids will enjoy learning about this ecosystem and connecting it with their own!
Shaye Miller
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This beautiful picture book focuses on just 10 species of “marvelous lives” that make their home in one Almendro Tree. Toward the left of each page, young readers will find a brief explanation of the animal in larger font while on the right side of the page there’s a lengthier section in smaller font that provides more details and vocabulary for older readers. And as you turn each page, the number of each animal/insect doubles! In the back matter, Messner has provided more information on The Alm ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a poetic tour of the marvels of the rainforest. The illustrations are at times brightly colored and other times peaceful and muted. You will feel as if you are observing the wonders of every living thing who calls a rainforest tree home. You'll wish you could be transported to the forest to witness the beauty of fluttering blue butterflies, the squawking of the toucans, the growling of the monkeys and the nesting maccaws.

In addition to the lyrical text, each page includes factual inform
Amy Lafleur Meyers
Rich vibrant illustrations show you the rainforest landscape and creatures who live there in this informational picture book. This book can have appeal to a wide variety of ages with the different layers to the book. Among these are an opportunity to practice counting the creatures , and further information about the creatures on the side. Kate Messner also includes extensive back matter with further information about the almendro tree "tree of life." There's also rainforest math activities for ...more
There is so much about this book that I love.
1) It shows the connections (food webs and symbiotic relationships) of a rain forest tree and all the creatures who rely on it. 2) It show the math and impact of that relationship. 3) Each page includes part of the story plus a sectional of factual information about the animal or insect. 4) This give parents and teachers a pattern to look at other living things and how much is connected to it (coral, the tree in their backyard, cactus . . .) 5) The i
Jul 11, 2020 added it
Shelves: children-s
This picture book is equal parts educational and whimsical, telling the story of the day in the life of a single almendro tree and the thousands of creatures that make their homes there. For each animal, there is a brief, poetic narrative, a colorful illustration, and a scientific description. An array of silhouettes also accompanies each animal, showing how many live in the tree. The numbers double with each additional animal, giving kids a sense of exponential growth and helping them comprehen ...more
Beth Anderson
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a great combination of math, science, and literature! Animals that live and depend on the Almendro tree are presented through a simple lyrical story line. With each page turn, the animals multiply, effectively shown by a graphic representation of the number. WOW! I’ll let you be surprised by the numbers. Sidebars on each page extend the reading level with more extensive information on each creature. It’s a different kind of counting book with gorgeous illustrations of the community that sha ...more
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fascinating view of just a portion of the different species that occupy a single tree in a rainforest in Costa Rica. Kate Messner starts with animals that are in smaller groups and on each page there is a new animal and the number in the group doubles, a fun little math aside. The pictures and facts work well together. There is a short sentence or two featured on each page and a longer, smaller-print portion on the sidebar that gives you more information on the animal.
Jo Oehrlein
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
We're counting by powers of 2 in this book about rainforest life in the alemendro tree.

On each 2 page spread, there's a beautiful full color illustration, a short sentence or two of the "story"/main text, the numeral, a graphic showing the exact number of items being counted (so, on the page for 16, there are 16 bats), and additional text (in italics) to provide more information about the topic of that page.
This is another great book from Kate Messner. Her books hold so much instructional potential for middle grade classrooms as well as much joy for simply reading for pleasure. The illustrations enhance the text, even though I generally prefer photographs in an informational book. If I were still teaching the 4th grade, I would be sure to add this book to my classroom library.
This is a great book if you were teaching about rainforest habitats. It wasn't the most exciting book but it was educational. I was not surprised that it overwhelmed my daughter at first. The pictures are gorgeous, so we had a lot to look at. ...more
Interesting format. Each page increases to twice the previous amount, so it could help a young reader understand exponential growth and powers of two. I enjoyed the beautiful art and the information about different species on each page. This book shows how important one single tree can be to so many other species.
Alicia Klepeis
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-pb
What a fantastic book -- it did a beautiful job of weaving a wonderful narrative with science and math. I learned a lot about the almendro tree and its connection to the animals of the rainforest. Incredible illustrations. Really liked the back matter -- from the math problems to the suggested organizations which readers might want to get involved with to the recommended books/film.
Kelsey Nunez
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book and learning all about the Almendro tree and the animals that live on it. I like the fact that on each page there is facts about the what is being talked about. I also like how on the side of the pages the animal are drawn out and the children can count how many there are not just read it. I'm glad I read this book and got to learn something new. ...more
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Nonfiction. Bold and colorful illustration accompany text describing the many creatures that might live in an almendro tree in the rainforest. Author's notes in back - and don't miss the "Rainforest Math" ideas in back. ...more
Li Sifan(Liona)
Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree by Kate Messner in 2017. Rich vibrant illustrations show readers the rainforest landscape and creatures who live there in this informational picture book.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
This book is pretty cool! I learned about the ecosystem of a almendro tree. Pretty crazy! I love the math and animal element! Fun one!
Just one tree can have so many lives attached to it.

A blend of fiction and nonfiction.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked the math part of this a lot. It's a fun title to bring to a math night because it doesn't look math-y. Plus you learn fun rainforest facts along the way! ...more
In this counting book, children will discover multiples of two (all the way up to 1,024) as they learn fascinating details about the thousands of creatures living in a single rainforest tree.
A. Salim
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Anything about the rainforest is a good read for me. However, this book is AMAZING. It is beautifully illustrated and told, easy for anyone to read, very informative and interesting.
Jun 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Nice addition to nonfiction titles about rainforests. The multiplication structure keeps it feeling fresh and brings in a nice math connection.
Hope L. Justice
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not for story time but a great classroom book. Deals with "squaring" and rain forest ecosystem. Great vocabulary with excellent illustrations. ...more
Amanda Harris
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a simple, colorful nonfiction picture book about how one marvelous tree known as the Almendro Tree can provide a home, food, and protection for more than 1,000 different kinds of organisms. Leaf-cutter ants, poison dart frogs, great green macaws, and howler monkeys are a few of the animals that use this tree for a home or protection.

This is a versatile book. You could read it to preschoolers by using the text in the upper left-hand corner of each page (which tells a cute story of wh
Annette Vellenga
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's hard to know how to describe this book. I loved looking through it. On the first page I searched for many of the animals found in the rest of the book. My son grabbed it from me and said "MOM.. there is no way I can find more than a 1000 ants in this picture!!!". Once he realized he wasn't supposed to he had fun looking at the rest of the book making comments such as "ooh.. look at all the baby snakes" and "agoutis look a lot like big guinea pigs".

Each page of the book has some portion of
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, math, animals, science
Engaging text and lovely illustrations created in acrylics and pencils make this book especially appealing and useful for many classroom instructional purposes. The author begins with one Almendro tree in the rainforest and then identifies the many different species that make the tree their home. Each double-page spread then provides information about each species. I loved how the species increase exponentially, from one to two to four (toucans) to eight (howler monkeys) and so on, all the way u ...more
This beautiful nonfiction picture book approaches the rainforest by telling readers about all of the animals who make their homes in and near an almendro tree. The focus on each page is the number of each species that relies on the food and other resources that just one of these trees provide. The information is fascinating and the illustrations, which were rendered in acrylic and pencil, will surely draw in the 4th and 5th grade readers in my classroom. The back of the book tells readers about ...more
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This insider view of a Latin American rainforest centers on the many species that call an Alemendro tree home.

Each spread, the number of creatures double which helps gives readers a feel for how fast organisms reproduce in the rainforest! Read-aloud friendly text calls the readers attention to the actions of the animals presented in a given spread while a paragraph of facts about the highlighted creature extends the readers knowledge.

Back matter includes information about organizations that are
Grace Livengood
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Messner, K., & Mulazzani, S. (n.d.). Tree of wonder: The many marvelous lives of a rainforest tree.
Readers get an in depth observation and lesson about the different lives that one tree in the rainforest can provide. Through multiplying we learn a lot about different kinds of animals that rely on the tree for life in this habitat. Through the bright paintings, readers are captivated by the life they probably didn't know much about before in this nonfiction book. Being a nature person, I liked th
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Kate Messner is an award-winning author, TED 2012 speaker, and former middle school English teacher. Her books for kids include THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.,SUGAR AND ICE, and EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury Dec. 2010) the MARTY MCGUIRE series (Scholastic), SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY, and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, Books). Kate also wrote SPITFIRE and CHAMPLAIN AND THE SILENT ONE, bot ...more

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