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What Do You See When You Look At a Tree?

Written by Emma Carlisle

Illustrated by Emma Carlisle

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What Do You See When You Look At a Tree? Review

Ecological and Environmental Interest - Non Fiction Featured Books for 5+ readers Featured Books for 7+ readers Non-Fiction Politics, Law, Philosophy & Ethics The Natural World

A gentle mindful look at trees, published in association with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Emma Carlisle is a famous award-winning landscape artist known for her practice around Devon and Cornwall.  As you would imagine from such a prestigious artist this is a glorious book with large illustrations – often deceptively simple in its approach, with very few words per spread.  Having said that, this is a book that uses the short, written sections to create a very thoughtful look at nature, particularly trees, and how it can help create empathy, deep nature reflection and self-reflection.  Simple questions encourage the reconnection with nature in the widest sense. The artwork is in the many tones watercolour allows - creating a beauty of a book. 


I was particularly pleased to see the last two spreads that explain simply how trees communicate with other trees in the area, and also the final spread that encourages the reader to become more like a tree – by taking your time, and self-care amongst a whole list of other vital activities.  I can see this being a favourite – either just to enjoy the glorious pictures or to use the book as the basis for discussions on how readers could be more like a tree – a wonderful mildly philosophical exercise!


The book feels as if it will be quite a large format (300x255) though, as I have reviewed this from a PDF copy, that is not as easy to assess.  

Tricia Adams

Other Info

Download the extract from this beautiful picture book and read a letter from Klaus Flugge and Greenaway-nominated author and illustrator Emma Carlisle on her inspiration for What Do You See When You Look At a Tree?

Mindfulness tips and insights are included at the back of the book for both adult and child to complete together.

What Do You See When You Look At a Tree? Synopsis

This wonderful picture book explores themes of empathy, mindfulness and personal growth through the eyes of a child.

Beautifully written and illustrated by the aw ard-winning artist Emma Carlisle, What Do You See When You Look At a Tree? urges readers to reconnect with nature by asking questions that encourage critical thinking and reflection on their own development, as well as helping to establish a deeper appreciation for the environment and their place within it.

Stunning watercolour and hand-finished artw ork draws parallels to the bestselling The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, and evokes the classic nostalgia of E. H. Shephard's much-loved Winnie-the-Pooh

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781800781276
Publication date: 23/06/2022
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781800781276
Publication date: 23rd June 2022
Author: Emma Carlisle
Illustrator: Emma Carlisle
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 40 pages
Suitable for: 5+ readers, 7+ readers
Genres: Ecological and Environmental, Non-Fiction, Politics & Law, The Natural World
Recommendations: Coming Soon
Collections: 2022 Book Preview: Must Read Books To Look Forward To, Celebrate British Science Week!, Anxiety & Wellbeing - 60 Books to Help Children Nurture Good Mental Health,

About Emma Carlisle

Emma Carlisle loved to draw from a young age, encouraged by her parents with endless trips to the library and a good supply of pencils and poster paint. She went on to study Illustration at the University of Plymouth, and in 2014 she graduated from the Cambridge MA in Children's Book Illustration with full Distinctions. She was Highly Commended by The Macmillan Prize for Children's Book Illustration in 2013. Lion Practice is her first picture book. Emma lives in Malvern.

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