Lois Ehlert uses watercolor collage and pieces of actual seeds, fabric, wire, and roots in this innovative and rich introduction to the life of a tree. A special glossary explains how roots absorb nutrients, what photosynthesis is, how sap circulates, and other facts about trees. "Children will beg to share this book over and over."-- American Bookseller
"Gr. 1-3. In her latest effort, Ehlert features a child narrating the events of buying, planting, and caring for a sugar maple tree. Richly illustrated, primarily in the bright reds and yellows of autumn, the book, nevertheless, follows the life cycle of the tree throughout all four seasons, focusing on the tree's growth. The large black lettering and realia collage will appeal to the very young, but the labels for objects (maple tree roots, garden glove, bud, etc.) and tags giving the sugar maple's correct botanical name will challenge older readers. The artist carefully plots out how one transports a tree from forest to nursery to home, but the heart of the book is the care of the tree and the animals it houses--squirrel, black-capped chickadee, downy woodpecker. Always comparing the age of the tree and the age of the child, Ehlert's reverential tone reflects her awe of the natural world. She forces the reader to look at the tree closely--only the arms and hands of the parent and child are ever visible. Ehlert concludes with more detailed information about leaves, buds, roots and sap, seeds, bark, and tree flowers as well as about selecting the right tree, preparing the tree site, planting the tree, wrapping, and staking. And the dust jacket's back flap tells how to make a bird treat. Although cataloged as fiction, this will best serve as a glorious contribution on nonfiction shelves. ~--Kathryn LaBarbera"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Ehlert ( Color Zoo ) uses a variety of materials--including paper, ribbons and paints--to depict the beginning of a sugar maple's life. Some time after seeds fall from a tree in the woods, nursery workers collect the slender sprouts; years later the tree is sold to a customer (the young first-person narrator of the book), taken home and carefully planted. Once again Ehlert provides a visual bounty: her pages are awash in the riotous reds and golds of autumn and the fresh, vibrant greens of new growth. There is bounteous information, too: in addition to the tree itself she includes several varieties of birds and many of the objects associated with gardening. An appendix provides further details on the biology and upkeep of trees. Less successful is the story line linking the tree to the narrator; the child remains an unseen abstraction whose utterances (``I love my tree'') appear stiff and a bit forced. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
|| San Diego :1991
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm