About Talking with Trees

Social Emotional Learning and Character Building for Elementary Grades

Talking with Trees Books and Teaching Resources for Elementary SEL Character Ed

Engaging stories and captivating illustrations that help children connect with social emotional lessons.

The Talking with Trees book series and teaching resources are for all the teachers, parents, and counselors who are helping children grow up to become kind, responsible adults.

Research shows that the social emotional lessons children learn about how to get along with others, how to face challenges, and how to build a foundation of good traits are essential to their future success in life. The Talking with Trees series gets to the heart of many of these social emotional issues, helping children understand themselves and their motivations and then helping them choose actions that will lead them in the right direction.

Each Talking with Trees book touches on topics like self-awareness, self-control, decision making, and maintaining positive relationships. Along the way, the stories build empathy and social skills while also getting to the heart of good character traits like honesty, respect, and responsibility. In the end, the Talking with Trees series is about helping children feel the internal joy that comes with doing the right thing for the right reason.

Talking with Trees books and teaching resources are used in classrooms and at storytime all around the world.

Where did the series come from?

While raising her own children, the author saw that all kids struggle through core life lessons about growing up to be good people. Yet in the moment when we adults could be teaching our children higher principles, we tend to be caught up in the emotions of the event and may not have the words ready to turn a challenge into a teaching moment. After lots of practice, the author found the words to teach her children the true essence of concepts like honesty, respect, and responsibility.

"With four kids, you start to see patterns in how children learn and grow—and you get lots of opportunities to try different ways of communicating complex ideas about how they can grow up to be good humans. When I saw other parents and teachers working to teach children these same lessons on being honest, caring, responsible, and respectful, I thought it would be helpful to share the words I found really got to the heart of moral lessons and motivated my children to develop good character" — Colleen Doyle Bryant, author of the Talking with Trees series.

Why Talking Trees?

Trees have been around for generations. Think of what they've seen as our communities have evolved and people have grown up before them. Wouldn't it be amazing if they could share the wisdom gained watching all those people go through all those changes? The Talking Trees are a wonderful voice to share life lessons because one can imagine them being wise, patient, and neutral. And besides, what child doesn't love trees?

Talking with Trees Books flashback scene

Each Talking with Trees book includes a flashback scene when the tree tells a story about seeing the child's parent or grandparent making a similar mistake. This helps children see that making mistakes is part of growing up, helping them develop empathy and a growth mindset.

About the author

Colleen Doyle Bryant is the author of five books and more than 50 learning resources about making good choices for the right reasons. Her Talking with Trees series for elementary students and Truth Be Told Quotes series for teens are used in curricula to teach good character traits and social emotional skills like honesty, respect, responsibility, and kindness. More than 100,000 of her good values resources are downloaded each year by parents and teachers around the world.

Rooted in Decency, Colleen’s most recent release, written for an adult audience, considers why America’s divisive culture is damaging common decency, and how society can get to a shared set of values that promotes cooperation and trust.

Colleen has a degree in sociology from Duke University, but learned most of this wisdom by being a mom who prioritized raising good kids. She and her family live in Oregon, USA, amongst lots of beautiful trees.

Learn more at ColleenDoyleBryant.com

Colleen Doyle Bryant Author of Talking with Trees Series

About the Illustrator

Manuela Soriani lives in the same small town in northern Italy where she was born in 1979, among the heats in summer and fogs in winter, near the river Po.

Manuela studied to become an accountant, but Art asked to be part of her life. So she answered the call, found a teacher (and later, friend), and became an artist.

After six years in comic books, Manuela began creating both traditional paper books and animated apps for electronic devices. She uses cutting edge technology to deliver the softest and most brilliant artworks she can, for projects all over the world. Manuela always tries to achieve the best balance between fantastic and realistic in every work, carefully researching how things work and adding details to make her illustrations full of life.

She loves cats (she has two), the colors pink and orange, cooking, salsa dancing, tabletop and roleplaying games, videogames, and all forms of art.