Lulu is friends with all the trees in the neighborhood. Even the trickiest, gnarliest trees can’t stop this intrepid climber. Unable to resist the pull of a good branch, she rescues kittens and kites while the neighborhood kids watch in awe. But when forced by illness to stay inside, Lulu discovers a tree’s shadow on her wall and suddenly her imagination (and the tree) burst into enormous being.
There is a special bond between kids and trees. Another Way to Climb a Tree beautifully depicts that friendship and the creativity that blossoms when kids roam outside. Liz Garton Scanlon narrates with unpretentious language, throwing in repetition and alliteration for good storytelling measure. With a retro feel, Hadley Hooper’s illustrations are cheerful and reminiscent of simpler times. Hooper fills each page and background with gentle, subdued color, which adds to the story’s warmth. Hooper skillfully personifies the trees; their colors become subdued, hazy and less distinct with Lulu’s absence. Tiny details like nature-themed book titles, branch-patterned pajamas and leaves taped to the wall give Lulu’s world a lived-in feeling.
Admittedly, many of us are beyond our climbing years, but this book provides the perfect encouragement to grab a hammock or pull up a lawn chair while kids find their way into the leaves.