Caroline Pignat's first picture book is an intriguing blend of carefully composed verbal images, knit together with extraordinary visuals by the award-winning François Thisdale. The poem is about the yearly cycle in the life of trees. But it's also an intriguing poetic concoction. The initial letters of each line in each stanza spell out a word that pertains to the theme.
For example, in the section on spring, the vertical letters spell out: SEED, GERMINATE, SHOOT, ROOTS, LEAVES, FLOWERS. The young reader will make that discovery as they read the text and look at the detailed illustrations that show a rural landscape with trees, a farmer, barns, animals, and the changing of the seasons.
"The collaborative work of author Caroline Pignat and illustrator Francois Thisdale, Poetree is an intriguing blend of carefully composed verbal images, knit together with extraordinary visuals. . . Young readers ages 8 to 10 will discover the secrets of the poems as they read the text and look at the illustrations that show a rural setting with trees, a farmer, barns, animals and the changing of the seasons. There are even puzzles for the discerning young reader, making Poetree an immediate and enduringly popular addition for family, elementary school, and community library Contemporary Children's Poetry collections."
"A vivid celebration of the seasons through acrostic poetry. Rooting her exploration of time's passage in events taking place in the natural world, Pignat charts "amazing growth and wondrous deeds / now promised in these tiny seeds" planted both in the literal soil and readers' imaginations through her lyric acrostic poems and Thisdale's evocative pastoral illustrations. . . Throughout the work, Thisdale's sumptuously colored and detailed mixed-media double-page spreads deftly underscore Pignat's focus on the continuity of being, not only by depicting how a seed transforms from sapling to tree to bearer of fruit to kindling, but by subtly suggesting the stages of human life by following the silhouette of a boy in spring through adolescence in summer, to a man harvesting apples in fall before shuffling off into the distance in the snow. Pignat and Thisdale's joint effort yields a rewarding and engagingly layered introduction to the life cycle and poetic form."