Tap the Magic Tree

When I finished my first reading of Tap the Magic Tree by author-illustrator Christie Matheson, I knew that I wanted to write a book about the cycles of life. But, I didn’t want to duplicate Tap the Magic Tree. It’s perfect. I love the multiple ways that it gets and maintains children’s interest.

Tap the Magic Tree begins to weave its literary spell with the first three sentences:

There’s magic in this bare brown tree.

Tap it once.

Turn the page to see.

Each page draws me more deeply into the story.

It’s more than just a great story. It also helps children build counting skills, and absorb knowledge about nature.

Every page captivates me, including the ending which features a drawing of a barren tree. It presents a challenge with the words “Close your eyes and count to ten.”

Next, we see a drawing of a tree with a nest and egg in it and these words:


It begins again.

I also want to convey this message, but in an entirely different way.

For years, I have told my daughter something like, “It takes courage to be the first leaf to open. I wonder if leaves are afraid of a killer frost? I can’t see why they wouldn’t be.”

I decided to create my book called Brave New Leafthen I realized that one book was not enough for me to communicate the concept of, “Magic! It begins again.”  I’ve planned four books, one for each season

  • Spring – Brave New Leaf
  • Summer – Pumping it Out – Explores how Buddy the Leaf feels as he contributes to the well-being of his tree and the forest it is in, by “pumping out” energy.
  • Fall – Feeling Brown – Buddy the Leaf’s is afraid of dying until he realizes a fact of nature.
  • Winter – Full Cycle – Buddy the leaf transcends death as he becomes part of the soil, and shares the secrets that he’s learned with tree buds through haiku.

Tap the Magic Tree is one book that you have to see, to feel, to touch to get the full benefit. There’s no way that I can give you the full sensory experience in this blog post, but I can encourage you to peek inside by providing this link so you can use Amazon’s Look Inside feature to see some of the artwork.  Check it out, and if you like what you see, buy the book. You’ll be delighted that you did.