Gift Guide

Happiness Tree: Celebrating the Gifts of Trees We Treasure

( 1 )


This celebration of one of Earth’s most precious resources embraces the beauty of trees and brings them to life with attributes sure to resonate with readers of all ages: peace, generosity, love, and happiness. With a detailed index of state trees, THE HAPPINESS TREE is a welcome reminder that everything good begins right here.

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This celebration of one of Earth’s most precious resources embraces the beauty of trees and brings them to life with attributes sure to resonate with readers of all ages: peace, generosity, love, and happiness. With a detailed index of state trees, THE HAPPINESS TREE is a welcome reminder that everything good begins right here.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Happiness Tree:


“Beautiful…the jewel-toned illustrations of the natural world immediately draw the eye….handsomely illustrated.” —School Library Journal

Praise for January's Child:

“An ideal gift for a newborn. . .The gentle rhymes and luminous artwork reminiscent of Helen Ward will soothe even the most difficult of personalities, making this a good bedtime choice.” —Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 1-4

Much surface and little substance mark this collaboration from Gosline and Bossi-but oh, what a beautiful surface it is. As the rhyming text extols the virtues of trees and describes the planting and growth of a group of seeds, the jewel-toned illustrations of the natural world immediately draw the eye. The elevated language tends more to poetry than sense: "Warm wishes sowed the greening land/and flocking birds rejoiced the stand/and sang a story that uplifts,/the tale of ten trees' simple gifts." The text then introduces these trees, each chosen to represent a particular characteristic (seemingly at random, for the afterword describing the various species gives no hint as to why they were assigned their titles). The blue spruce represents tolerance, the yellow poplar stands for love, and so on. A listing of state trees is appended. With a slightly New Agey premise, this handsomely illustrated book is more inspirational than educational and may find a home in Arbor Day celebrations and in Sunday school classrooms.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD

Kirkus Reviews
A muddled celebration of trees falls victim to soggy sentiment. In two sets of rhyming couplets each, ten different trees are individually introduced to readers with a quality they are said to embody-an identification that seems entirely arbitrary. The language and sentiments of the verse will likely be beyond the understanding of Gosline's target audience (or, for that matter, most anyone). The paper birch: "I am the tree of honesty. / I surrender strong and true, / build a bridge from me to you, / revealing great integrity / in honor of a trusted tree. / I open." Backmatter includes the types of trees depicted and presents some facts about each. Also included is a list of the 50 states and their official trees. Bossi's gorgeous jewel-toned illustrations featuring anthropomorphized trees are sure to be pored over by young readers, who will be taken in by their fairy-forest quality. While there is no doubt that humanity can learn much from trees and their interactions with their environments, this gooey treatment does not come close to effectively conveying those lessons. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312370176
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 9/2/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 478,344
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrea Alban Gosline and Lisa Bossi are the co-creators of inspirational books, greeting cards, and guided journals. Written with heart by Andrea, and transformed with a lush palette by Lisa, their creative works draws on a love of family and nature's wonders. They are also the author and illustrator of January's Child: A Birthday Month Book (Scholastic, January 2007), Ten Little Wishes (Harper, Spring 2007), and Celebrating Motherhood (Conari Press, 2002).

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Read an Excerpt

“Everything good begins with me,”

the acorn told its mother tree,

and drifted on the dancing breeze,

to find a cloak of golden leaves.

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Reading Group Guide

Thank you for sharing The Happiness Tree with your children! We provide many ideas to deepen their understanding of various themes in the artistic, scientific and personal realms. From language arts exercises to outdoor activities, we encourage thoughtful observation and wish to awaken the children’s reverence for the natural world.

Trees provide beauty, shelter, fuel, food and clean air. They also inspire art and poetry, by arousing emotions and filling our senses. Indeed, trees stand for our very best qualities as human beings.

We hope to inspire your students to express their own original ideas and, like the little acorn we meet in the opening scene, begin journeys, among friends, with the motto:

“Everything good begins with me.” ™

Our very best wishes,

Lisa Burnett Bossi & Andrea Alban Gosline

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 22, 2014

    The opening line is perfect, "Everything good begins with m

    The opening line is perfect, "Everything good begins with me."  A tiny acorn tumbles to the ground and issues this statement to its mother tree.  Then his adventure begins.  He snuggles deep into a cloak of golden leaves, takes a long winter's nap and emerges in the warm Springtime wide awake, ready to sprout and stand tall amidst his prestigious elders. 

    Beautiful illustrations of different types of trees appear in the following pages and each one gives an account of his value, worth and contributions to his surrounding world. The trees are characterized by words such as hope, love, courage, gratitude, peace, compassion, tolerance, generosity, honesty, and happiness.  They model to the human reader the exact attributes humans need to make their world a  more loving and better place to inhabit.  The world will then be a thriving and healthy community with everyone and everything living together in harmony and peace and doing their share to make the planet the best it can be.

    The book is written in rhyme and the message is positive and inspirational.  The illustrations are magical and bring the text alive.  The journey from a tiny seed to a luscious, thriving forest encourages us to look after our world so our children can stand in the midst of "life" and know as they grow up they will need to become good stewards of their earth, as one day they will be passing it on to their children's and their children's children.......and so goes forth the circle of life with everyone having a part to play to keep it going. 

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