Friday, February 19, 2016

#MMBBR Children's Book Review: The Tree Watcher by Christopher P. Stanley @JumpSplashBooks


NOTE:  In addition to being a blogger, wife, mother and cycling instructor, I am also a teacher for kids ages 2-5 years old at the Y where I have developed a class entitled Art Through Stories.  

I designed this class to introduce the children I teach to books and then using those books to create art projects.  I try to help them creatively capture the beauty, lessons, concepts and other learning points within the books through the expression of art.  I do this by using various art mediums.  The art projects also act a tool to help retell the stories to their loved ones.  This title is one that I plan to use in my class. 


This story draws inspiration from the author taking his son, Samuel, on a walk to the park. He noticed how amazed Samuel was at everything there was to see - especially the trees that towered above him. With artwork depicting these trees that forged such awe in young Samuel's eyes, "The Tree Watcher" takes the reader along on this wonder-inducing walk.

Christopher P. Stanley

Christopher P. Stanley grew up in Grove City, OH and had a childhood that centered around imagination, play, and exploring the outdoors (mixed in with a healthy amount of Nintendo). A large part of his, perhaps over-active, imagination is owed to books - "Where the Wild Things Are", "Vinegar Pancakes and Vanishing Cream", and "every single Dr. Seuss book" made up just a small sampling of the children's books that filled him with wonder - and continue to do so to this very day! 

Christopher graduated from Ohio Dominican University with a degree in Education, and has been an educator for the past 10 years in both the K-12 and Higher Education settings. He currently lives in Upper Arlington, OH with his wife, Morgan, and their four children - Rylee, Olivia, Lylah, and Samuel - who remind him every day of the magic that is childhood.

Christopher is an author and co-founder of Jump Splash Books, and he aims to highlight imagination and celebrate the joy of childhood through his stories. He co-founded Jump Splash with his childhood friend and artist Alex LeVasseur, and the name of the company encapsulates their vision - through imagination and wonder, we can find joy; even in something as simple as jumping in a puddle.

I have to start by saying that this book really touched my heart.  As a mother, I have always prided myself on pointing out the beauties in nature to both my boys.  Whether it was a beautiful sky, a unusual bug, the night sky or one of my beloved wonders in nature...a strong, large, stretching tree.   Living in Wisconsin we get the pleasure to see a tree grow and chance through the seasons.  The Tree Watcher follows a young boy and his father has they walk in the park and the subsequent wonder he see in his son's eyes as he marvels at the trees that tower overhead.  I have read and reread this book many times.  I find it equally as beautiful every time.  It is poetic and sweet, tender and loving, embracing all the wonder of both a parents love for their child and the pure unadulterated joy a child experiences in the simple joys in nature.  The illustrations are stunning, watercolor mixed with realistic images blended together beautifully. I adore this book and rate it 5 stars

Classroom uses:  I plan to use it in my Art Through Stories class and have the kids make a water color trees, as well as a scene of the trees through the seasons.  I also plan to use it for Earth Day. 


  1. First of all, thank you so much for the review. I'm truly honored and humbled by your kind words. You mentioned using the book as part of an art project, and I would absolutely love to see that when it happens! :)

    1. Thanks for sharing your book baby with me! It was my pleasure to read and review it!


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