The Tree Watcher ~ Review and Giveaway

Posted: March 23, 2016 in Children's books, giveaways, reviews
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I have a lovely little story to share with you today.

Please enjoy the authors guest post.

Check out my review.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


Author Christopher P. Stanley is here to tell us about the inspiration behind his book and about the images.


The inspiration behind my book was a walk that I took with my infant son a few months ago.  It was in mid-summer, and there were many things on my mind.  From issues at work, to dealing with simply trying to keep my house clean when four children live there, I felt very distracted and was definitely not being mindful of my many blessings.  I decided that I wanted to walk down to the park a mile away from where I live, and I took Sam along so that he could have a change of scenery.  As we started walking, I was not really paying attention to my surroundings as I was getting stuck in my thoughts.  When we were down the street a bit, I looked down at Sam to see how he was doing – and that’s when everything changed.  You should have seen his face.  Here was this baby boy, all of 9 months old, teaching me about wonder, joy, and mindfulness.  The way he was looking up at the trees, I could see how amazed he was.  And he was right!  I stopped to look as well, and it was really quite extraordinary.  We are fortunate enough to have many mature trees in our neighborhood, and I was overcome with their beauty and just their…dignity.  As we continued along, I joined Sam in being mindful of my surroundings, and many of those questions and scenarios from the book happened on this walk.  It’s truly amazing what we can experience just by paying attention.  
Furthering my inspiration, I have always loved picture books and realized just how much they have to offer the reader. I remember getting The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base when I was about 10 years old, and I was just obsessed!  As picture books were such big parts of my life, I always wanted to make my own.  I made simple ones as a child, but I really started wanting to make a picture book when I was 26 years old.  I had a good idea, and even wrote an outline, but never did anything with it.  It really wasn’t until that walk with Sam that “The Muse” spoke to me, as it were, and I decided to actually follow through with my life-long dream of writing children’s books.  So it took almost ten years, but I’m happy to report I’m following through.  I’ll have another release in a couple of months, and I’ve finally started to work on my original idea from almost a decade ago.  What a walk that was, huh?

The images were a lot of fun to create.  My artistic medium has always been photography/digital art.  For this story, I decided to capture some of the actual trees that Sam and I encountered on our walk.  So over the course of a couple of months, I took pictures.  Some I had Sam pose in, others I did not.  The image from the cover is actually a Beech tree in my front yard!  One of my favorite pages, the page with the autumn leaves, is on a street by my eldest daughter’s middle school.  I turned down the street and knew right away I needed this picture for the book.  So after I took the photos, I started manipulating them on my computer. Some photos took little time and effort, while others I spent a lot of time getting what I wanted.  Some pictures worked beautifully while others I had to do a lot of manipulating and creating.  It was definitely hard work! Overall, it took about 4 months to get them all done.


The Tree Watcher

by Christopher P. Stanley



My Review

I’ve always loved trees. Loved to lie on the ground and peer up through the branches. Hear the leaves rustle in the wind. And even loved rolling in them when the trees shed their leaves for the winter.

Do you remember doing that? Do you remember being buried in a pile of leaves, breathing their earthy scent? I do to this day.

This book is like taking a walk into the past. To those younger years when everything seemed so large and miraculous.

The delightfully colorful illustrations in the story burst from the pages. It makes me want to get out some watercolors and do some painting.

One of the first things I painted with water colors was a tree. Loved drawing the sturdy trunk, adding the branches, and the smaller limbs. Then came the leaves. All shapes and sizes.

Come take a walk with Christopher and Samuel. Next time you’re outside, stop and look at the trees. See their strength and beauty.

While this picture book is intended for early readers, I’d recommend it to all ages. The beautiful illustrations and story fill you with a sense of wonder.

5 Stars



This story draws inspiration from the author taking his son, Samuel, on a walk to the park. He noticed how amazed Samuel was at everything there was to see – especially the trees that towered above him. With artwork depicting these trees that forged such awe in young Samuel’s eyes, “The Tree Watcher” takes the reader along on this wonder-inducing walk.



Author Christopher P. Stanley

Christopher P. Stanley

Christopher P. Stanley grew up in Grove City, OH and had a childhood that centered around imagination, play, and exploring the outdoors (mixed in with a healthy amount of Nintendo). A large part of his, perhaps over-active, imagination is owed to books – “Where the Wild Things Are”, “Vinegar Pancakes and Vanishing Cream”, and “every single Dr. Seuss book” made up just a small sampling of the children’s books that filled him with wonder – and continue to do so to this very day!

Christopher graduated from Ohio Dominican University with a degree in Education, and has been an educator for the past 10 years in both the K-12 and Higher Education settings. He currently lives in Upper Arlington, OH with his wife, Morgan, and their four children – Rylee, Olivia, Lylah, and Samuel – who remind him every day of the magic that is childhood.

Christopher is an author and co-founder of Jump Splash Books, and he aims to highlight imagination and celebrate the joy of childhood through his stories. He co-founded Jump Splash with his childhood friend and artist Alex LeVasseur, and the name of the company encapsulates their vision – through imagination and wonder, we can find joy; even in something as simple as jumping in a puddle.

Amazon / Website / Twitter / Facebook


giveaway photo: Giveaway Banner for 42nd giveaway.png

I have one print copy to giveaway.

Giveaway is open Internationally, so all are welcome.

To enter, please leave an email address so I can contact you if you win , and answer this question:

“Where’s your favorite place to take a walk?”

Giveaway ends April 4th.


Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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  1. Mai Tran says:

    My favorite place to take a walk is the running trail close to my apartment. It’s a long the coast so it’s peaceful and beautiful at the same time.

  2. Mary Preston says:

    There are some very beautiful parks here in town. The bike paths are ideal for walking too.


  3. robeader says:

    I love to take a walk in a bookstore. Going up and down, around and around the various aisles, perusing all the books, stopping every so often to check out a book. I know it isn’t really what you meant but this is my idea of taking a walk.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I took a walk in the library yesterday. I browsed all over the place. Nothing better than being surrounded by books and pumping those endorphins. LOL

  4. I love to walk around the lake behind my house. (

  5. Anita Yancey says:

    I like to walk in a state park that is near my house.

  6. Anne says:

    I walk in the foothills where I live. Peaceful and beautiful setting.

  7. First, thank you so much for the kind review! I’m truly honored and humbled. My favorite place to walk in through the local conservatory here in Columbus. I always get such a feeling of peace!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      It’s my pleasure to share, Christopher. I like the quiet of nature, away from people and traffic. It does feel peaceful and is good for the mind.

  8. Molly says:

    I love to walk on the beach. The sand between my toes, the warm sun shining, and the cool breeze are the only things I need to forget everything.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      That sounds awesome. The only problem with that here is we have white sand. The sun is so intense it burns to walk on it.

  9. I LOVE trees!!! woods and forests, but my favorite is the beach. Hearing the waves pound on the beach sounds like the wind blowing through a trees branches, but I love the sand between my toes and the taste of salt on my lips. Can’t be beat.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  10. Dianne Casey says:

    My favorite place to walk is along the beach of Lake Michigan.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I grew up in Michigan and we spent every summer on the East side. Lake Huron is lovely and all of the fresh rivers were a delight to walk along.

  11. Sandra Watts says:

    I love your inspiration behind the book.

  12. Sandra Watts says:

    My son and I like to walk down by our creek. It is so relaxing and we usually do it daily.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      My son and I walk behind my house. Little traffic and lots of fields. Soon, it’ll be too hot and we’ll stick to laps in the pool:)

  13. kim hansen says:

    Along the riverwalk here in north platte so peaceful.

  14. Donna Gott says:

    Hi, I grew up in Albuquerque and the Rio Grand Rivet runs through, I loved to walk my horse down the middle and both of us loved the trees and the reflections on the water. He could stand for hours (it seemed) slashing the reflections. The whole experience was breathtaking! . The fall was both of our favorites because of the colors, reds blazing and oranges with all of the yellows. Mind blowing when you see it in the water. Just think of it from Gideons perspective. Ripples and waves and colors! Every once in awhile he would catch me unaware and he would go down to roll in those colors and if course all the water! Oh, those memories!! Wet, laughing and so much fun. Only GOD could give us something so simple and truly amazing.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      That sounds amazing! I remember going riding with one of my sisters and as we were crossing a stream, her horse decided to roll in it. She didn’t think it was so funny. I used to ride bareback and get lost for hours in the woods and along the streams. Liked to stop and rest and take it all in too.

  15. My university. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I enjoy walks where I can take in different architecture. So many amazing buildings out there.

  16. For me, nothing beats walking along the cliffs of coastal central California. Somehow, my fear of heights doesn’t matter then.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Sounds great. I have a problem with vertigo though. It used to be really bad. Then it went away and now its back again.

  17. babyblue7299 says:

    I love walking along a sandy beach- a long sandy tropical beach…

  18. Voidvamp says:

    I’d love to walk in a dark dense forest where I also can see the northern lights.

  19. Cal M. Pearson says:

    Now that I have to use a walking stick due to two dodgy knees most of my walks take place in my head – reliving past walks. One of my favourite places for walking is on Lindisfarne (aka Holy Island) off the coast of Northumbria near to where I live.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Any long walks for me are in my head too. Shin splints got me. Holy Island sounds magical:)

  20. Sandy S says:

    We have a ‘community park’ known as Canatara that is gorgeous and sits next to the lake. It is so peaceful and there is an ‘animal farm’ for the younger set.

    Thanks for the giveaway

    pharmx_2 (at) hotmail (dot) com

    • fuonlyknew says:

      That sounds wonderful. I need to visit the park here. It’s right on the bay and I love the sounds and smells:)

  21. I like to walk along the creek and in the bushland next to my home.

  22. E says:

    Favourite place to walk? Ooh, that’s a difficult one. I haven’t been able to walk more than across a field and back for a couple of years due to various medical reasons, and I soooo miss walking. It would have to be a tie between a single house (used to be a hamlet, now semi-lived in) called Badenyon in the Cairngorms to the nearest (derelict) settlement called Rinn Tain. OR a circular walk around St Martins island in the Isles of Scilly.

    God, I miss walking, I could name so many more.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Sorry to hear that. I don’t walk as much as I used to. Got shin splints from running and it gets painful fairly quickly. I often just sit on my back deck and enjoy nature from there:)

  23. Linda says:

    I love trees! I have some beautiful pics of trees I’ve taken just because they caught my attention! My favorite place to walk is in the woods in southern Ohio!

  24. Roan Clay says:

    In the woods near my home, so this looks good to me!

  25. David Savage says:

    Along the embankment on the River Thames in London

  26. Maggie Thom says:

    Hi. I love walking anywhere in nature. :) But I have to say that my two favorites (sorry I couldn’t narrow it down to one) is to waterfalls or along the beach. Laying under a tree and looking up – love it. :)