STRETCH TO THE SUN, written by Carrie A. Pearson and illustrated by Susan Swan, follows the life span of a giant redwood tree. It is a gorgeous and informative story of nature’s cycles, both the beautiful and the dangerous. It begins with the death of one giant tree which falls to the ground, and it continues with the POP! of new life as a sprout appears and becomes our main character. Children will be fascinated by the worlds of flora and fauna that live in the branches of the tree and at its base.
The illustrations are detailed and incredibly realistic. The collage-style artwork is very accessible to children and makes some parts of the book (a tree crashing to the ground, a forest fire) less frightening for children. Children will love identifying the animals throughout the book (the flying squirrel is a particular favorite), and the foldout page at the end of the book is a welcome surprise.
The book concludes with additional facts connected to particular lines in the story. There is also additional reading and a bibliography as well a short list of age-appropriate ways children can help the trees.
STRETCH TO THE SUN is a wonderful picture book with a focus on how all pieces of our eco-system (including us!) are a part of and affect the environments around us. Highly recommended for ages 4-8.
Review by KRISTIN WALD