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Nonfiction Monday: Celebritrees by Margi Preus

Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Tree of the World
By Margi Preus
Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
Henry Holt (Macmillan)
ISBN: 9780805078299
Grades 2-4
In Stores

Not to get all “hippie” on you, but do you ever think about trees? Here are these massive plants, unmatched by anything on earth, and we walk around barely paying attention to them at all. Celebritrees helps bring some of the wonder back. Covering the biggest, the oldest, and the most famous trees found anywhere – this is a book with few contemporaries. A nonfiction title that will please the young naturalists out there.

The introduction declares trees “the oldest, biggest, and tallest living organisms on earth”, and this book covers 14 of the most unique examples. From Methuselah, a 4,800 year old Bristlecone Pine, to Hyperion, the tallest tree, Celebritrees features record holders and curiosities. There are some more obscure selections as well, such as the Post Office Tree that once lived in Kansas, where travelers on the Sante Fe Trail posted their letters and messages, and the Tree of 100 Horses in Italy, famous for being the thickest tree ever known.

Each entry is presented on its own two page spread with basic location and age information, followed by 1-3 clearly-written paragraphs on why the tree is a celebrity among flora.

The acrylic, colored pencil, and watercolor illustrations have a simplified folk vibe that works well with the earthy subject matter.

A nonfiction entry that will work well for both pleasure reading and classroom use, Celebritrees will make a fine addition to your collection.

Review copy from publisher

Also reviewed by Pink Me.

Check out the Nonfiction Monday roundup at Practically Paradise.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. This book sounds wonderful! And I do think about trees! As much as I enjoy seeing the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, my heart always aches at the thought of the empty space it leaves somewhere. And when I saw one of the famous “drive-through” giant sequoia trees in California, I was heartsick then, too. I guess I’m just a tree lover. :)