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New Hope, PA


The official web site of Dar (Hosta) James, artist, author, illustrator & educator.

If I Were a Tree

If I Were A Tree


WINNER 2008 Teachers’ Choice Award
WINNER 2008 National Arbor Day Foundation’s Media Award
WINNER American Horticultural Society’s Growing Good Kids Book Award

This uniquely shaped book is a celebration of trees through gentle, poetic verse and colorful collage illustrations of various tree species in all seasons. Inspired, in part, by the wonderful response the public has always had for my trees, and by a small, holiday exhibit I had at the former Church Door Gallery in the winter of 2005, entitled “Little Trees,” for which a wrote a poem called “To Be A Tree.” This poem is included in the book, as well as a great Tree Facts page that shows the basic parts of a tree along with scientific information about trees, which teachers will love for their tree-study units.


An effective consciousness-raiser for pre and emergent readers, pleasant to read, hear and see... even the tall, narrow trim size is evocative.

An inspiring new picture book that asks readers to leap into the bark of a tree, imagining what life would be like.
-American Horticultural Society, Books For Young Readers

The lyrical text is both soothing and thought provoking. An Edenic quality infuses Hosta’s collage illustrations, which abound in bright colors, full curves and images pared to the essence of their shape.
-Washington Parent

Hosta’s love for and knowledge of nature is apparent, making this an excellent read-aloud selection for a unit in science. This book encourages readers to ponder the numerous ways they’d make life better on earth if they were trees.
-ForeWord Magazine

Stunning, colorful collage illustrations. Paying homage to the important role trees serve in daily life, If I Were A Tree encourages young readers to consider what it would be like to actually be a tree. The final pages offer fun facts about trees to inquisitive young minds. Highly recommended.
-Midwest Book Review

If I Were A Tree is a wonderful book for either the home or the classroom and will encourage thoughtful readers and listeners to think about trees in a new and imaginative way.

You may purchase If I Were A Tree through Etsy or Amazon. 

Booksellers and Libraries may order from Baker & Taylor, Follett BRODART, BWI or directly from Brown Dog Books. Please contact us for terms if you are interested in placing a wholesale order with Brown Dog Books directly from Brown Dog Books.

Ages 3-8, Hardcover ISBN 97809721967-3-, $17.95.