Tap the Magic Tree

Written and Illustrated by Christie Matheson

Plop! Plop! Plop! Plop! Plop! Plop!
Kerplop!
Knock, knock on the trunk,
Then stop.

 

If you’re a fan of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here (and really, who isn’t?), you’re going to love Tap the Magic Tree.

With a similar interactive premise, author Matheson leads toddlers on an exploration of the seasons by showing a single tree, and how it changes over time. As the little ones follow instructions to tap the tree, brush away petals from its blossoms, gently shake the fruit from its branches, etc., each page turn shows the “results” of their actions, with the tree changing accordingly.

The simplicity of the illustrations makes it easy for very small children to focus on what’s going on. It’s all just the single tree, created with collages and soft colours, its leaves change from green to yellow to red-and-orange, and the occasional appearance of a squirrel or some icicles or a nest of  birds, from season to season, to keep the images from being too static; and the pages of text, opposite, alternate between a white background and bright colours, keeping the overall effect cheerful and visually appealing.

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