Tap the Magic Tree

I’ve learned that toddlers love, love, love to help.

When it’s time to unload the dishwasher…

“I need a big helper!”

In runs excited B, shouting, “Hel! Hel!” (precisely my thought when it’s time to unload the dishwasher) and the task is complete in no time.

So, it comes as no surprise that when I say, “Tap the tree,” or “Shake the tree,” she immediately complies. She love, love, loves to help the magic tree grow flowers and to help its apples plop to the ground. How can a kid resist tapping, brushing, jiggling, shaking, or knocking on a book (reminds you of Don’t Push the Button! doesn’t it?) magictree3 (3)In Tap the Magic Tree, your little one is in charge of changing the tree through all four seasons. From touching the buds to make beautiful blossoms, to gently patting the crispy leaves to make bright fall colors. They’ll clap to make snow, and then it’s all over.

Not! Right when your little one thinks nothing else will happen to the tree, they are told to be patient, count to 10 (with your help, of course,) and suddenly– spring has sprung and with it, bright green leaves for them to tap, tap, tap.

Christie Matheson has a similar books– one being Touch the Brightest Star, that looks adorable for bedtime.

Tap the Magic Tree
Christie Matheson
Greenwillow Books


  1. I saw the name Kevin Henkes.
  2. The book came home with us.

Growing up, I knew Chrysanthemum, Julius, and Lily (who made my Mom laugh out loud).

Birds just had to be good… and it is.

Birds (illustrated by Laura Dronzek, Henkes’ wife,) is narrated by a young girl who tells the reader things that she knows about birds– birds come in many sizes, they come in several colors, and they can sing. She is also not afraid to tell you, dear readers, things that she wonders about the birds. Birds encourages your little one (and you!) to use your imaginations and see things a little differently. Check out these two lines from the book:

“If birds made marks with their tail feathers when they flew, think of what the sky would look like.”

You’re imagining it, right?

“If there are lots of birds in one tree and they all fly away at the same time, it looks like the tree yelled, “SURPRISE!”

It DOES look like that!

Birds would make a perfect addition to your imaginative tot’s bookshelf.

Kevin Henkes/Illus. Laura Dronzek
Greenwillow Books