Written by: Paul Czajak
Illustrated by: Cathy Gendron
For ages: 4-8 years
Topics Covered: STEM, Pint-Sized Professor, Environment, Sustainability, Nature, Girls Outdoors, Love, Pets, Biology.
Trees Make Perfect Pets is a story about a girl named Abigail who wants a special pet for her birthday-a tree! She’s given that matter a lot of thought, and in her opinion they are the perfect pet. Abigail adopts a tree and names it Fido, and she takes him everywhere in a wagon. Eventually, with her devotion and attention, Fido grows too large to stay inside the house!
This book is incredibly adorable. Abigail absolutely loves Fido, and is undeterred when various people try to convince her that a tree isn’t a real pet. I also love a good story that has a character that reveres trees as much as Abigail does. Not only with the environmental aspect of respecting trees and wanting them to thrive, it’s a wonderful message to send to readers that are perhaps allergic (or have allergic family members) to animals. Having a plant to nurture could be a good replacement, or for folks who live in small apartments where an animal wouldn’t have enough room. At the back of the book is a list of websites where readers can go and find tree friends for themselves! I relate a lot to Abigail and her love of trees, but unfortunately have never had a wagon to pull one around in.
This book was sent to us by Sourcebooks Kids, but all opinions are our own!
About the Author & the Illustrator:
Somewhere in the last century, Cathy Gendron stumbled out of college with a BFA and a serious need to draw. Landing unexpectedly in the ad department of her local newspaper, she discovered editorial illustration, which perfectly connected her love of reading with a passion for art. A short stint as art director for the Detroit Free Press taught her that she really didn’t enjoy the management side of the business. She quit and has been making pictures ever since.
Working traditionally, Cathy applies thin glazes of oil color over a casein underpainting. Her images have appeared in numerous publications for the editorial, book and corporate markets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, Newsweek, US News and World Reports, Utne Reader, Seventeen, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Kensington Publishing, IBM, Target and Saatchi & Saatchi.
In 2015, she designed and painted a 4,000-square-foot mural in Ann Arbor, “Enduring Roots”. That same year, she made her debut as a children’s illustrator with The Nutcracker Comes to America, written by Chris Barton. Her second illustrated book, Trees Make Perfect Pets by Paul Czajak, is slated for publication in the spring of 2020.
Cathy’s work has won awards from Communications Arts Magazine, Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, Print Magazine, Society of Publications Designers and the Detroit Creative Directors Council. She has exhibited her paintings in Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Lansing and after 30 years, she is still sending countless art students into the unknown from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.