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Children's Nonfiction Trees & Forests

Jack Pine

by (author) Christopher Patton

illustrated by Cybele Young

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Aug 2007
Trees & Forests, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2007
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 12
  • Grade: 2 to 7
  • Reading age: 7 to 12


Jack Pine is an exquisite celebration of a tenacious tree.

In a poem as knotty and beautiful as the tree itself, Christopher Patton tells the story of one Jack Pine, and conveys the splendor of the pine forests that once covered much of eastern North America. Cybele Young's exquisite illustrations, ingenious three-dimensional collages of etched paper, bring to life Jack Pine and a world of stony fields, pine woods, farmers and forest animals.

About the authors

Christopher Patton is a Canadian poet living in the United States, where he teaches courses on ecopoetics and visual poetry at Western Washington University. His asemic visual poetry has been shown at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the Whatcom Museum. Patton’s books include Ox, whose first section won the Paris Review’s long poem prize, and Curious Masonry, an earlier volume of Old English translations. He blogs at


Christopher Patton's profile page

Cybèle Young is an award-winning artist who exhibits her exquisite paper sculpture (Japanese paper printed with etched copperplates) internationally. She has illustrated several books for children, including Pa’s Harvest by Jan Andrews, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award (Illustration) and Jack Pine by Christopher Patton. She has recently written and illustrated A Few Blocks, a Kirkus Best Children’s Book and winner of the Alcuin Award; Ten Birds, winner of the Governor General’s Award (Illustration); and A Few Bites, which received starred reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly and was named an OLA Best Bet. Cybèle lives with her family in Toronto./p

Cybele Young's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2008

Editorial Reviews

This is a refreshingly original way to win some fans among young readers for an example of Canada's biodiversity.

CM Magazine

The generous use of white space invites readers to savor the poetic lines and the visual poetry as well.

School Library Journal

This is a remarkable, effective blend of poetry and botany...Patton changes our imagination...while subtly, triumphantly, communicating botanical and ecological truths...The creative combination of accomplished verbal and visual art, as well as science, makes this a prime candidate for use in school as well as enjoyment at home.

Toronto Star

A fabulous read-aloud for elementary school children, especially those studying nature, trees or the environment...Penned like a poem, in short vignettes easy to read, Jack Pine is an amazing nature story based in truth.

Post Register

...Young's exquisite, three-dimensional etched-paper collages are, somewhat paradoxically, the medium that makes visual and visible a most unprepossessing tree...There's a fine and pleasing symmetry here between the plain-spoken but ultimately eloquent verse and the unlovable tree and its ultimate nobility.

Globe and Mail

Librarian Reviews

Jack Pine

Have you met Jack Pine? He’s gnarled but he’s got a tender side for he is also a “nurse tree” that shelters the seedlings of other trees. Christopher Patton employs personification in his poem to introduce us to this tenacious tree. Three-dimensional etched paper collages round out this arboreal tribute.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Christopher Patton

Other titles by Cybele Young