Title: A Grand Old Tree
Written and illustrated by: Mary Newell
Published By: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005
Themes/Topics: Trees, life cycle, ecology, seasons
Suitable for ages: 3-7
Opening: Once there was a grand old tree.
Her roots sank deep into the earth,
Synopsis: This is the tale of a grand old tree, whose roots ran deep, and whose arms reached high. For years and years she flowered and spread, she grew and shed millions of leaves. And her children grew tall beside her.
This is the tale of a grand, beautiful cycle of life. A beginning. A Middle. And, yes, and end that leads on to many new beginnings. (taken from the jacket flap)
Why I like This Book: I have to say, I much prefer this story to The Giving Tree. The language is simple, yet rich and colorful and tells the story of a tree’s life cycle and all the animals’ lives that are touched by its life. In death, the tree continues to give as it fertilizes the ground for its children to keep on growing. It is an upbeat story on giving (not taking) and the circular nature of life, which I believe even young children will grasp. The double-paged water-color spreads are bright, inviting and whimsical, reflecting the repetitive nature of the cycle. This is a great addition to simple units on ecology, the life-cycle or to celebrate Arbor Day, as well as introduce young children to the majesty of trees.
Join in National Tree Planting day.
Kids can reproduce their own illustrations of this tree cycle.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.