Author: Jayme Martin
Illustrator: Clark Andres Jr.
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4787-0813-1

“I said to Skinny Little Tree, ‘Skinny Little Tree, why are you smiling at me?’
‘Because Wiggly Worms, Blue Bird, and Little Leaves left for a while. They’re back today – so I smile,’” Jayme Martin writes in her children’s book, Skinny Little Tree.

At twenty-eight unnumbered pages, this letter-sized paperback is targeted toward preschool aged children and beginner readers, especially those who enjoy interacting with books by drawing as they follow along with the story line. With no profanity or scary scenes except perhaps a few dark-looking trees at night, it is an ideal book to read and use right before nap time or bed time. Artist Clark Andrews Jr. uses full page, colorful illustrations with enough engaging details to keep readers interested.

After fill-the-blank ownership and acknowledgement pages, this imaginative tome is about a little boy who speaks to a tall, green tree that looks happy and contented on the front cover. The boy asks the tree lots of questions such as why it is smiling at him, why is it weeping or worried, why does it dance with glee at night, and why is it smiling again. Promoted as a book discussing all the seasons of life, it is more about emotions like being happy, sad, worried, or cheerful.

With each question the boy asks, the tree responds with reasons such as being tickled by wiggly worms, having a friendly blue bird fly away, shedding little leaves who would rather play with the ground, listening to the moon sing, or having all its friends back, surrounding it.

Also with each answer there is a blank page to have the reader create and draw his or her own wiggle worm, blue bird, leaves, moon, smile, and even a skinny little tree. By engaging readers through artistic interaction, they learn not only how to imagine and draw their own designs, they are educated about a few emotions, what insects and animals are near trees, and that trees shed their leaves.

Although the book is very short in length and there are only six drawing applications for readers, the concept of interacting with the story is helpful and fun. Due to the word repetition, beginner readers can focus on specific word groups and learn new, more complicated words and their meanings.

This book was furnished by the author in lieu of an unbiased review.

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