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The Perfect Tree

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Jack is searching for the perfect tree -- one that he can chop, hack, and stack! But when it becomes too hard to find, Jack stumbles across three unlikely friends who want to show him their perfect trees.

In this lively, enchanting story, The Perfect Tree is a reminder to notice the wonders we often overlook, and to value our friendship with the natural world.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Running Press Kids (first published December 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  157 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Jack headed out to find the perfect tree, one that was just right to chop down for firewood. But he was having trouble finding that perfect tree. Jack finally sat down under a tree in the forest in despair. Then a woodpecker offered to help Jack find the perfect tree. She flew to a tree and after knocking on a branch all sorts of birds flew out of it. Then a squirrel said that he too could show Jack the perfect tree. Taking Jack into a great oak tree, the squirrel revealed his stash of nuts and ...more
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love the illustrations in The Perfect Tree! Bonfield combines physically created environments for her computer created characters to romp around it. The boy in this story goes on a quest to find the perfect tree to chop and stack. One his way, animals see what he's doing and lead him to their perfect trees. But their perfect trees are chosen for different reasons. In the end, the boy thinks each tree is perfect in its own way, so doesn't end up chopping any down.

Good for preschool or older ki
OK, i love it. It is beautiful and so sweetly shows the web of life living in our trees/forests.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Chloe Bonfield has written an amazing book, that hits the perfect spot on so many levels! Looking for a perfect read aloud for Arbor day? Or maybe a book on conservation? Or animals that live in the woods? Well, you've found it! This tale of a woodcutter and his quest for the perfect tree ends in the way you'll expect, but it's so fun getting there. The illustrations are wonderfully evocative and have a pensive and thoughtful feel to them. A+ ...more
While many of you may know the festivities for Earth Day 2016 will be held on Friday, April 22, 2016, you may not know about the theme for this year. It's called Trees for the Earth (#Trees4Earth). We are fighting to combat deforestation all around our planet. In the year 2020 Earth Day will be fifty years old. It is this organization's desire to plant 7.8 billion trees by that date.

With this in mind I would like to offer for your consideration three new titles focusing on trees and our wonderf
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A lovely book to teach children the wonders of nature and why we should revere and protect it.
K- Gr 2- What is the perfect tree? To young Jack, it is one worth cutting down. He searches high and low, but has no luck. Then, he reaches the forest, where some kindly animals guide him. They show him magnificent trees of varying shapes and sizes...they show him their homes. Jack learns that every single tree is valuable, not for its raw materials, but because they are living things, and so he leaves, grateful for this newfound wisdom. Even though this change of heart occurs rather suddenly, B ...more
Joanne Zienty
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-fiction
A book that some adults will think is beautiful, due to the illustrations, but that kids won't go for. I didn't go for it. The story was not especially moving or interesting and the illustrations were just too busy and the font of the text didn't mesh with the illustrations and so on.... I am surprised I am even giving this two stars! ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scotty-s-books
The mixed media illustrations are fantastic!
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovely illustrations as Jack begins by looking for a tree to chop down, but instead finds how trees are just perfect for the creatures who live in them.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Beautifully illustrated. Great way to tie in conservation, Arbor Day, habitat lessons as well as social/emotional lessons.
Susan Eubank
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good for a story time about trees. Includes plant-animal interactions in a positive, imaginative way. Just slightly heavy handed in positive tree message.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-firefly
lots of visual interest, explains how things can be useful and good in different ways
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Review originally posted on Children's Atheneum

Beautifully illustrated, this book reminds me of the collages I used to imagine I was making as a child. Not that the collages were imaginary, but they were always so much better in my head than in real life. This is the real life representation of the art I always wished I could do. The story can be used an environmentally friendly book with many practical applications for storytimes or the classroom. I was a bit confused as to why young Jack was s
Kellee Moye
Full review and teaching tools at:

The Perfect Tree is a book that I hope doesn’t go beneath the radar because it is a wonderful book with a positive theme and beautiful illustrations. Jack’s story makes the reader think about all the harm we do when we destroy the forest, but it does so without listing or preaching. It just shows. It mentions in her biography that Chloe Bonfield is fond of printmaking, and you can see this in her artwork that accompanies
Cheriee Weichel
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jack sets off to find the perfect tree to chop, hack and stack. Although he spends much time searching in the woods, he is unable to find one. Luckily he makes some new friends who show them their perfect trees. As they do this, Jack learns that trees have more perfection inside them then he could first imagine.
Bonfield's art is just stunning. It's a mixed media combination of paint, collage, three dimensional construction, lighting and digital enhancement. You are going to need to get this boo
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: k-2nd, preschool, nature
Age: Preschool-Kindergarten
Nature: Trees

Jack loves to hack, chop, and stack wood. On the search for the perfect tree, several animals stop Jack to show him their perfect trees. He notices the unique features of the trees and rethinks his belief that trees are made for one purpose. The artwork feels slightly excessive, but mesmerizing.
Juliana Lee
A little didactic, but still a good story. When Jack goes out in search of the perfect tree, it isn't a tree to climb or draw or hug, it's a tree to chop down and stack up. No tree looks perfect until the birds, the squirrels, and the spiders show Jack their trees. The next day Jack goes out in search of the perfect tree, but not a tree to chop and stack, a tree to climb and draw and love. ...more
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
The illustrations are what make this book beautiful. The story is...okay. A nice lesson about appreciating the beauty in nature and not just looking to break stuff for giggles. But the pictures are just lovely.
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Cool illustrations, especially at the beginning of the story, but not a big fan of the font used and the story was so-so. Makes for an environmentally friendly lesson. Different creatures help Jack find "the perfect tree" and he realizes he'd rather enjoy them than chop them up. ...more
Feb 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
"So he put down his ax, for he needed it no more." Then he went home and froze to death. Haha, couldn't resist. This is actually a lovely story about someone learning new things and making different choices on the basis of that knowledge. Good stuff. ...more
Viviane Elbee
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I liked the atmosphere that the collages in this book created. It kind of felt like kids' paper and cardboard creations coming to life.
The text itself is quick to read, but if you are reading it as a bedtime story, your children may want to linger on the artwork.
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
I wasn't compelled by the story of this British import. The book featured cool paper art and the lovely subject of nature but the story fell a bit flat for me. And I was annoyed by the scroll-y, difficult-to-read font. Also, I am old and I may need readers. :) ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Can't say enough about this book. Love the change the character goes through as he learns about the trees and what they mean to others. Reminds us to take a step back and evaluate others needs before just fulfilling our own needs. Will read this book in story time and in k-4 classrooms! ...more
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A wonderful book that reminds us how individual perfection is. The illustrations are such a unique collage style that works wonderfully for this story. I loved so much about this book.
Kristina Jean Lareau
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebook
Beautiful paper crafted illustrations mixed with gouache and other mixed media create a delightful story about a boy who learns that there is too much to value in a tree to cut one down.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Not my favorite kind of illustrations...does tell a positive story, however, not one that will be used in a storytime for younger children
Dylan Teut
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You will think twice about chopping down your next tree after you read this beautiful book.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, picture-book
I love books that have creative illustrations like The Perfect Tree.
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Enchanting illustrations, but while the text is good it doesn't match the quality of the art. ...more
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