Cover image for Trout are made of trees
Trout are made of trees
Publication Information:
Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, c2008.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 23 cm.
Reading Level:
AD 450 L Lexile
Added Author:
"Leaves and bacteria, insects and fish, bears and people, too--we're all part of one big circle of growing and eating and living"--Inside front flap.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book E 577.16 SAY 1 1

On Order



Trout are part of a complex food chain in which leaves on trees become part of the trout.

Author Notes

April Pulley Sayre is the award-winning author of dozens of books, including MEET THE HOWLERS!; TURTLE, TURTLE, WATCH OUT!; and ONE IS A SNAIL, TEN IS A CRAB, an ALA Notable Book. She lives in South Bend, Indiana.

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Returning to a familiar subject, Sayre (Trout, Trout, Trout) brings her ichthyological knowledge to bear in this primer on river ecology. "In fall, trees let go of leaves,/ which swirl and twirl/ and slip into streams." Alliterative verse zips to the point as it describes the tiny aquatic creatures that eat the leaves and begin a consumption cycle ("Crane flies, caddisflies,/ shrimp, and stoneflies shred leaves./ Rip and snip!"). Studying this food chain, in Endle's (Bella and the Bunny) interpretation, are a boy and girl camping streamside with their dads. Mixed-media collages in autumnal hues show the pair gathering river samples and putting their large, lemon-shaped faces close to the water's edge. Endle's work is highly detailed and carefully patterned when depicting the fish and water life, but bland and static when she includes the humans. Endnotes discuss the life cycle of trout (the story seems to take a mini-detour for a three-spread overview of the topic). Tips for young environmentalists are also included. Ages 4-7. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Preschool, Primary) The food web relationships in a deciduous forest ecosystem are set in the approachable context of a fall camping trip. As two children and two adults camp along the banks of a stream, they encounter the plants, animals, and bacteria of the ecosystem's food web. Readers learn about each step of one chain within the web: the falling leaves that rot with the help of bacteria and algae, the insects that feast on the leaves, and the predators that eat the insects, which are in turn eaten by the trout -- that are then eaten by the campers. The focus is on the age-appropriate eating story; on each page a child-friendly sentence or two conveys a step in the chain, reveling in the "rip and snip," "crunch," and "munch" sounds of all that feasting. Sayre's mixed-media collage illustrations are filled with the golds, browns, and greens of fall in the woods. Additional information about the trout life cycle, ways to help the environment, and Internet resources are appended. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

A veteran science-book writer introduces the idea of the food chain in this attractive picture book. Sayre unfurls the process behind the intriguing title in a very simple text, explaining how leaves that fall from trees into a stream decompose to become food for aquatic creatures, which are eaten by trout, which eventually become a picnic meal for a man and three inquisitive children who have observed the whole process and recorded findings in  science notebooks. Athough the time frame and Sayre's reference to bears at the close of the book ( Trout are made of trees, / So are the bears ) are likely to require further explanation, kids will still get a sense of the interconnectedness of nature. Endle's collages are exceptional. Her minimalist figures (each with a similar round, smooth face and tiny dot eyes) are juxtaposed very effectively against crisp yet intricate, layered backgrounds of painted-and- patterned cut-papers. Nature remains the focus of each spread, but people appear in most, investigating what's happening and enjoying every discovery they make.--Zvirin, Stephanie Copyright 2008 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-A seemingly impossible premise, "Trout are made of trees," is at the heart of this explanation of the life cycle of a trout. A boy and girl, one white, one black, are exploring the stream and its inhabitants with their parents. In clear sentences, young readers follow autumn leaves as they fall from a tree into the water, are softened by algae and eaten by other creatures, which are then consumed by the trout. A more detailed explanation is included at the end of the book. Attractive collage illustrations in natural colors fill the spreads and help to explain the text. This unique introduction to how changes in nature create the food web illustrates how the whole world is interconnected.-Christine Markley, Washington Elementary School, Barto, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

An unusual blend of narrative, poetry and science, this is an appealing introduction to the food web. Sayre's lyrical prose describes leaves falling into a stream where, after their surfaces are softened by bacteria and algae, they are eaten by crane flies, shrimp and other "shredders." These shredders are then eaten by unidentified predators, which are in turn eaten by trout. The text goes on to describe briefly the process of trout reproduction and then completes its journey through the food web with the final words: "Trout are made of trees. So are the bears and the people who catch the trout and eat them." Endle's illustrations feature, along with a vibrant natural setting in rich golden tones, two children actively engaged in observing and studying the stream. The illustrations, done in mixed-media collage, are a testament to the fact that wondrous new things can be created out of the pieces of other things, and thus, they reinforce the theme of interconnectedness that is the heart of this offering. (notes on the life cycle of trout and stream conservation, resource list) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.