Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Review: I'm Up in a Tree, by Mark Alden Johnson

Reading books to children is a great way to teach a lesson without thumping them over the head with it. Kids often close down when we preach to them, but when we teach them through a story, they don’t even know they’re learning. One book that does this very well is called I’m Up in a Tree, by Mark Alden Johnson.

This delightful rhyming book, also charmingly illustrated by the author, begins with a little boy who has a climbed a tree. He’s so excited about everything he can see from his high post—until he realizes that he’s not sure how to get down again! Two bees see his predicament and advise him to jump. But the little boy knows he could break a bone if he does so and decides to wait for his dad to show up. A bird comes by and tries to show him how to fly. But the little boy knows he can’t do so without wings. Then a cat comes by and tells him that he has to climb back down by holding onto the bark of the tree with his claws. But the little boy knows he doesn’t have claws and continues to wait for his dad. The boy begins to worry that he’ll get in trouble with his dad, but at that moment, his father shows up with a ladder. To the boy’s relief, however, his dad isn’t mad, and he greets his son with a hug and gratitude for his safety.

Throughout the story, you can feel the little boy’s internal struggle between doing what he instinctively knows is right and listening to others. It’s a great lesson for kids to learn. Do you follow the crowd or listen to your heart? Do you cave in to peer pressure or do what’s right for you? In the story, the little boy makes a very wise decision, and also shows that it’s best to go to an adult when you’re in over your head. When children learn these lessons at a young age, chances are greater that they’ll also make wise choices as adolescents.

My twins were enchanted by I’m Up in a Tree. They were really rooting for the little boy to wait for his dad rather than make an unwise decision and get hurt. I highly recommend this book, both for enjoyment and its educational value. Kids will love it, and learn something valuable, too!

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:53 PM

    Sounds like a great book...gonna have to pick it up thanks :)


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