One Day This Tree Will Fall

by Leslie Barnard Booth (Author) Stephanie Fizer Coleman (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Discover how a tree’s wounds and decay bring new life to the forest ecosystem in this lyrical nonfiction picture book for fans of Because of an Acorn and A Stone Sat Still.

When a tree falls, is its story over?

There are many ways a tree’s story could end: Gobbled up by a bird as a tiny seed. Damaged by wind or ice or fire. Chopped down and hauled away. But some trees—this tree—survives. And grows old. Riddled with scars, cracks, and crevices, it becomes a place creatures large and small call home.

One day, after standing tall for centuries, this tree will fall. But even then, is its story over? Or will it continue to nurture the forest and its creatures for many years to come? Complete with additional information about the role trees play in a forest ecosystem, this sweeping story invites readers of all ages to celebrate the incredible life cycle and afterlife of trees.
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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
A lyrical evocation of an essential natural cycle.

Publishers Weekly

Taking a remarkably resilient Douglas fir as this picture book's subject, Barnard Booth expansively tracks the conifer's life cycle. Initial spreads tell a familiar story of transformation, from seed to sapling to weather-worn and fire-ravaged tree. "This tree's story might have ended that day," muses text before describing additional developments as the plant endures more damage, ages, dies, and collapses to the forest floor, where it decomposes and becomes "a perfect place...// for the next seed to settle." Throughout the tree's many life stages, forest creatures of myriad types both leave their mark and make their home, underscoring the central role that trees play in a larger ecosystem. Employing gouache, colored pencil, and digital techniques, Fizer Coleman's wildlife-filled scenes transpire against fuzzy, textured backgrounds and tree trunks, allowing more realistic renderings to stand out. Notes, a glossary, and sources conclude. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

** "A lyrical evocation of an essential natural cycle."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Leslie Barnard Booth
Leslie Barnard Booth is the author of A Stone Is a Story and One Day This Tree Will Fall. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, attended Pomona College and later earned an MFA in creative writing and an MS in education from the University of Oregon. Leslie lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves exploring the natural world with her family. Visit her at

Stephanie Fizer Coleman is an illustrator with a penchant for playful color and rich texture. She is the illustrator of many books, including Five Flying Penguins, Bird Count, and Time to Fly. Stephanie grew up in a rural area, so it's no surprise that furry and feathered creatures are her favorite subjects to draw. When she's not drawing, Steph can be found sipping tea and reading books. She lives in West Virginia with her husband and two dogs. Learn more at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date
March 26, 2024
BISAC categories
JNF037040 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Trees & Forests
JNF003030 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Birds
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Life cycles
Forests and forestry

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