Quill and Quire


« Back to
Book Reviews

Sometimes I Feel Like an Oak

by Danielle Daniel and Jackie Traverse (ill.)

l to r: Danielle Daniel (Credit: Gerry Kingsley) and Jackie Traverse

Trees are treated with reverence in many world religions. In Islam, planting trees, which provide shelter and food to all living beings, is seen as an act of charity. In Hinduism and Buddhism, trees are providers of knowledge, healing, and protection. In the afterword to her latest picture book, Sometimes I Feel Like an Oak, author Danielle Daniel explains how her Algonquin heritage and deep love for trees inspired the book. 

She shares the ancestral belief that trees are “sentient beings with spirits who can feel things.” If we are willing to invest time and listen carefully, she says, trees can teach us a lot about ourselves. 

Through 12 short poems, each lauding the beauty and unique qualities of 12 different types of trees, Daniel does exactly that. The child narrator celebrates trees across the seasons, from the generosity of the maple to the sensitivity of the willow.

Illustration: Jackie Traverse

The narrator learns resilience from tamarack, strength from oak, healing from cedar, and endurance from redwood. It is by respecting and reflecting on the lessons learned from trees that she also develops self compassion and the capacity to show up for herself. 

Jackie Traverse’s rich and radiant illustrations provide the perfect canvas for the author’s message of respecting and protecting nature. 

This is a relevant book for a world dealing with environmental crises.


Reviewer: Supriya Sharma

Publisher: Groundwood Books


Price: $19.99

Page Count: 32 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 978-1-77306-698-1

Released: April

Issue Date: March 2024

Categories: Kids’ Books, Picture Books

Age Range: 3–6