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A girl writes a poem to a tree, but then is surprised when the tree writes back in this wondrous and warm picture book about friendship, nature, and the power of poetry.

The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter's end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn't count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence...as well as an unexpected new friendship.

Lyrical and sweetly satisfying, Poetree is about finding beauty in the world around you, and new friends in unlikely places.

32 pages, Hardcover

Published March 19, 2019

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Shauna LaVoy Reynolds

1 book10 followers

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5 stars
226 (36%)
4 stars
284 (45%)
3 stars
94 (15%)
2 stars
16 (2%)
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2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 138 reviews
Profile Image for Spencer Orey.
540 reviews124 followers
April 23, 2019
A lovely book about poems. A girl writes a poem and leaves it in her tree, finds another poem in the tree later, and thinks her tree is writing poems back to her.

There's also a nice story of friendship woven in, focusing on some small drama at school between two kids and a reconciliation as they realize they have beautiful words in common and become friends. Regarding the two kids, there are a couple things that don't quite make sense, but the really sweet kid poems and the imagining of the poetree makes up for them.

And the illustrations are gorgeous, bringing the tree to life.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,884 reviews31.2k followers
November 2, 2019
A lovely story about a girl who loves poetry and trees. I think she is a wonderful type of kid. One day she hangs her poem she wrote to the tree on the tree. She is happy. The next day she walks by and finds that the poem is now different than the one she wrote. She thinks its the tree that wrote it. She is elated and begins writing many poems to the tree and she gets poems back each time. Her poems are really nice. The end is sweet and touching and I really don’t want to spoil it. She does make a friend at the end. I recommend reading the story here and finding out what happens.

The artwork is soft and uplifting and the poetry is simple and lovely about nature. She learns about Haiku at school and composes one. This book is Caldecott worthy in my mind.

The nephew had different thoughts. He thought she should build a treehouse in the tree and go up and see it. She could use a basket to get up in the tree. He thought her poems we sort of silly as was the story. He doesn’t seem to be into poetry. She needs some potty humor and a monster to make a better story, or bugs. He thought bugs could help it out. He gave this story 2 stars. That sounds about right for him.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,354 reviews529 followers
March 24, 2022
Spring is here at last.
I hope it doesn’t end too fast.
Like a bee I’ll sniff each flower.
And I’ll enjoy each springy hour
(So much).

Sylvia loves writing poetry and shares it far and wide—including with a favorite tree in the park. The next day she returns to the tree and discovers a brand new poem. Could it be that this tree is a “Poetree” and is writing her back? Through spring, summer, and autumn she exchanges poems with the tree until one day she sees something that changes everything. Filled with the poems that Sylvia shares and receives from the tree and accompanied by gentle pastel illustrations. A soothing and satisfying read for Poetry Month --starting next week on April 1.
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,126 reviews104 followers
November 17, 2019
Although a few of author Shauna LaVoy Reynolds' presented verses do feel a bit artificial and therefore also rather forced (or at least, they have felt that way to my eyes and to my ears and this is why my average rating for Poetree is three and as such not yet four stars), I still do both much appreciate as well as enjoy how Poetree celebrates not only words (poems) but also the seasons, trees and yes indeed, how both Sylvia and Walt's mutual love of poetry (and springtime) encourages and cements their friendship (well actually, more how their erstwhile shyness and awkwardness with and towards one another is erased by the fact that both have been writing poems to one particular tree). Combined with Shahrzad Maydani's soft and generally visually much appealing accompanying artwork, which especially with her use of soft pastels of green and yellow does aesthetically provide a truly lovely and delightful mirror of the author's, of Shauna LaVoy Reymolds' narrative, of both her poetry and her prose (although I do wish that Matt's shorts did always not look so much like he is wearing just underpants), I have certainly very much enjoyed Poetree and would definitely warmly recommend it as a sweet and tender tale of springtime, poetry and emerging friendship (and yes of course Poetree also presents and features a total and delightful celebration of trees in general and that they indeed are perfect harbingers of spring and something to and about which poems often are written and in my humble opinion also should be written, as yes, trees are in my opinion also much more long-lasting than flowers and generally like basic clockwork always welcome the spring every year with new buds and lush greenly hued, delicately fragranced leaves).
Profile Image for Mid-Continent Public Library.
584 reviews186 followers
April 2, 2022
Spring is here at last.
I hope it doesn’t end too fast.
Like a bee I’ll sniff each flower.
And I’ll enjoy each springy hour
(So much).

Sylvia loves writing poetry and shares it far and wide—including with a favorite tree in the park. The next day she returns to the tree and discovers a brand new poem. Could it be that this tree is a “Poetree” and is writing her back? Through spring, summer, and autumn she exchanges poems with the tree until one day she sees something that changes everything. Filled with the poems that Sylvia shares and receives from the tree and accompanied by gentle pastel illustrations. A soothing and satisfying read. Happy National Poetry Month! *Review by Darla from Red Bridge*
Profile Image for Mary Lee.
2,958 reviews55 followers
October 6, 2019
LOVE all the poetic/literary allusions: SYLVIA (Plath? Vardell?), Ms. OLIVER, a dog named SHEL, a new friend named WALT, a BIRCH tree. Plus, Sylvia is a leftie! How cool is that?

Sylvia writes poems for the joy of it, and leaves them at the birch tree. Is it the tree writing back, or is there a clue in the illustrations that can tell us otherwise?
Profile Image for Laura.
1,375 reviews208 followers
September 5, 2019

“But the whisper of the wind in the leaves above her was like a poem.”

This book! This beautiful book climbed to the top of my favorite picture books at word one. The title alone made my heart smile. And the word magic continued to grow page after page after page.

Young Sylvia writes a poem and ties it to a tree only to come back the next day to find a new poem from the tree. Her big, beautiful birch tree is talking to her! Or is it?

Words so beautifully picked.
Given as gifts.
Placed oh-so gently on the page.
For me and for you.

I’m obviously not a poet, but this book inspires me to try. Inspires me to wander through the world of words picking new ones to plant and shine. Ms. Reynolds dazzles with word magic! She introduces us to two poets and a birch tree so alive with words and kind-heartedness. And Shel! The cutest little dog. Shel’s face was the first thing I noticed when I opened the book. You have to hear Sylvia, Walt, and Shel’s story. A story filled with light, poetry, friendship, and a talking tree. :) And the magic doesn’t stop there!

The softness in the pictures added such gentleness to the action. I loved the colors of the leaves and the changing images on the clothes. The illustrations and words worked hand in hand to create a warm, sweet tale.

There is so much to love here. Hearts full of hope somersault and soar as sounds and rhythms share their story with the reader. Beautiful, simple lines and phrases like…

“Sunlight and shadows
danced through the leaves above them”


My favorite….”sit beside-ing”.

I highly recommend picking this one up. Poetree is something special!

Profile Image for Marcie Flinchum.
Author 10 books12 followers
February 23, 2019
This book is a celebration of poetry--and the love that children have for it. Sylvia leaves poems for the tree, and the tree writes back--she thinks. After all, it is a Poetree. When something unexpected happens, Sylvia discovers that poems can connect her to nature and to new friends. Delightful poems are woven throughout. The adult readers will appreciate all of the names with nods to beloved poets. Poetry-lovers, teachers, and librarians, POETREE is a must-purchase.
Profile Image for Emily Matview.
Author 10 books24 followers
May 30, 2019
This book is real cool
It's a story but also
teaches kids haiku
Profile Image for Gaby.
Author 4 books78 followers
April 3, 2019
the poems!
the characters!
the names!
the illustrations!

everything about this book is lovable.
Profile Image for Lata.
3,606 reviews192 followers
June 14, 2019
Ok, Sylvia's totally adorable, and she writes good poetry and likes trees, and the tree appears to write back. Cute story about friendship and 'poetree'.
And I loved the illustrations!
Profile Image for Shaye Miller.
1,236 reviews81 followers
February 3, 2020
This precious picture book is about a lonely, young girl named Sylvia who takes great comfort in her friendship with a tree. The book goes back and forth between poetry and prose as we see Sylvia in class and out in nature, all while attempting to navigate this friendship with a tree that appears to write poetry. In the end, her tree gives her more than she anticipated — a real friendship with another child her age. And sometimes good friendships come from where we least expect them. The beautiful artwork in this book was created by using graphite pencil and watercolors.

For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!
Profile Image for Janette G.
20 reviews
June 23, 2020
This is a beautiful story of friendship between a boy and a girl that didn't really get along at first. The boy wasn't very nice to her at school. Well they love writing poems, and both thought they were writing these to a tree and getting responses from it. It turns out the poems were from each other, and when they find out, they regret not having taken the opportunity to get to know each other before, they both come to realize they share a love for poetry. This is a great resource to complement SEL curriculum since both characters realize they have things in common and can get along after all. I would recommend this title for preK-4th. I think all students would enjoy the wonderful illustrations where the focal point is the tree. I was able to get a hold of this book from my local library.
Profile Image for Katelynn.
84 reviews20 followers
January 25, 2020
I thought this book was ridiculously cute. My child heart yearned for her tree-friend, the poems are a lovely introduction for younger kids who want to branch out from Dr. Seuss rhymes, and Reynolds does a great job of touching on themes of friendship, creativity and exploration, and even environmental protection. Plus, Maydani's illustrations are soothing to look at with their flowing lines and gentle colors.
Profile Image for Bell Of The Books.
227 reviews2 followers
April 5, 2022
I actually have written some poetry myself. Long ago.
I found it very...soothing to lose myself into.

What I loved most about this little children's book is how she begins new friendships.
First with the birch tree.
She connects with it. Hugs it. Writes to it.
Then to a little boy who loves the tree just as much as she.
"A friend of the tree is a friend to me."

When I was very little I believed trees could feel me. They could know I loved them and that made them stronger. I touched them. Hugged them. Spoke to them.

I still believe that. 💓
Profile Image for Mrs. Mazzola.
258 reviews15 followers
March 2, 2020
Lovely and simple introduction to poetry. I like the unique idea that a tree might have been writing back -- like a better version of The Giving Tree where both sides were giving to each other. The only problem is that the conflict in the story was solved too neatly making it a little unbelievable. Otherwise, very enjoyable.
Profile Image for Nadina.
2,482 reviews3 followers
July 7, 2022
This is more for older readers and to read alone. It is a sweet story, the girl writes to the tree, the tree writes back, but it turns out it is actually a classmate not the tree writing back and before the connection with the tree the two children did not actually get along. It was a cute story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jenny G.
26 reviews
June 19, 2019
I think this may be my favorite book I read all class. This book was recognized by the Poetry Foundation. This is a sweet story of a young girl who loves poetry. She wrote a poem and stuck it in a tree for all to see. When she came back, there was a new poem in the tree! She realized this must be a Poetree! Her love for the tree grew as they exchanged poetry. In the end, boy in her class, Walt (who was known to make fun of Sylvia) bumped into her at the Poetree also looking for his poem from his loving tree. They learned to be friends and share their love of both poetry and the Poetree together!

With so many great themes throughout of friendship, nature, and love of writing, it is a great story for elementary students. This read aloud could be used anytime of year to discuss any of the themes present throughout. The girl writes poetry in form of limericks and haikus, so it could also be a lesson on writing different forms of poetry. A must-have in the classroom.
Profile Image for Linda .
3,706 reviews42 followers
May 6, 2019
Shauna LaVoy Reynolds tells of Sylvia, a bit of a lonely girl who finds solace when she visits her favorite tree, a birch tree. She is so inspired at the beginning of the story when she's walked her dog, Shel, to the park, she writes and leaves a poem for the tree. The very next day, there is another poem. The tree has written back! At school, she daydreams and when the teacher tells her to pay attention, it's embarrassing, also because Walt, a boy in the class, says "Yeah, Sylvia". Poetry fills this story up with dreamy, heartfelt lines, and a surprise of rhyme. It's perfect for reading aloud, an inspiration for poets who want to write to their favorite "poetree". Shahrzad Maydani's springlike watercolors set the stage, too, for the poetry and she adds a few hints along the way for the surprise at the end.
Profile Image for Jana.
2,591 reviews37 followers
May 9, 2019
This sweet picture book is terrific to share with young readers during the spring. Inspired by the beautiful weather and her favorite tree, Sylvia writes a poem to celebrate the spring season and ties it to a birch tree in the park. When she passes it on her way to school the next day, there's a new poem tied to the tree. Thrilled by the response to her poem, Sylvia becomes so excited about her new friendship - with the tree. Young readers will enjoy Sylvia's new friendship - but it's not the friendship they (or Sylvia) are expecting. There's so much to love about this book - it's a great mentor text for young writers who are trying to express themselves with poetry; it also helps readers see that sometimes friendship blossoms in unexpected places. Lovely illustrations, along with the text that mixes the sweet narrative with poetry make this an awesome book to have on the shelf.
Profile Image for Mandy.
1,416 reviews12 followers
June 26, 2019
Childrens Picture Book. Sylvia is a young girl who likes poetry. She takes her first poem of the spring up the hill to the birch tree, and ties it there. When she comes back the next day, she is surprised to find another poem waiting for her. She tries again after learning about haikus in school and finds another haiku waiting for her. Sylvia thinks the tree is returning her gift, although the reader knows the poems must be from another person. The identity of the mystery writer is revealed, and Sylvia is quite surprised to discover the truth. A great story that shares excitement over poetry and features a diverse cast. Also ties into incorrect first impressions and shared common interests.
Profile Image for Lisa.
16 reviews15 followers
March 6, 2019
THE POETREE is a sensitive and lyrical homage to poetry, friendship, and the way words can connect us. After Sylvia ties a poem to a tree in the park and finds one waiting in return, she begins to suspect that the tree is exchanging poems with her. She channels her excitement and love for the tree into poetry, and the tree becomes a stand-in friend and confidant and ultimately ends up connecting Sylvia with another poetry-loving child. The lyrical text and delicate watercolor and pencil illustrations celebrate the joy found in words and how they can inspire unlikely friendships. This book is a beauty, and readers of all ages are sure to fall in love with it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Diane.
6,761 reviews
June 30, 2019
Sylvia loves to write poetry. In fact, she writes a poem to celebrate the beginning of spring. Then she walks to the park and reads her poem to a squirrel (he seemed grateful). Then she tied her poem to the tree and went home. The next day on her way to school she sees her poem fluttering from the tree ... no wait, it isn’t her poem at all. Did the tree write a poem to give to her? All day at school, she can’t stop thinking about her “new leafy friend.” She writes another poem at school and leaves it in a knothole. But this time when she returns, there is no poem waiting for her. Or is there?

A celebration of poetry and friendship.
Profile Image for Teresa.
Author 8 books72 followers
February 14, 2019
This is a beautiful book on the power of poetry to forge friendships and unite kindred spirits. Through the accidental middleman--middleTREE--that is the title character, Sylvia and Walt become a little less lonely and find someone to share their love of poetry with. Extra points to the author for the homage to Shel Silverstein! POETREE is perfect for parent-child reading time or as a classroom resource providing a jumping point to a poetry unit. Either way, it is sure to inspire kids to write their own poetry.
Profile Image for Elaine Fultz, Teacher Librarian, MLS.
1,601 reviews16 followers
May 5, 2019
Simply beautiful story which honors poetry and poets and writing and nature and friendship. (Sylvia has a dog named Shel, a teacher named Ms. Oliver, one (left-handed) classmate named Walt, and another who wears a shirt reading "Rumi.") Sylvia offers poems to a tree and believes the tree responds until she encounters Walt who has also been giving poems to the lovely birch.

I never thought that I would see/Such lovely poems from a tree./I wish that I could climb and live/Among the words you love to give./But if I lived up in a tree/I sure would miss my family/(Especially Shel).
Displaying 1 - 30 of 138 reviews

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