THE MAN WHO LIVED IN A HOLLOW TREE by Anne Shelby
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THE MAN WHO LIVED IN A HOLLOW TREE

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Age Range: 4 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This rich tale, based on an Appalachian legend, tells the story of the improvised life of Harlan Burch, a philosophical carpenter who builds everything from cradles to coffins and plants two trees for every one he cuts down. On a walk “noticing things,” he discovers an enormous sycamore tree that in his opinion would make a perfect home. So he sets up house and contines to work and live for a long time. Then a strange thing starts to happen—he starts to grow younger. He marries, has lots of children and lives in the tree until he dies at 142. Shelby’s gorgeous, rhythmic narration artfully shows, without one hint of forceful message, that living to the fullest is about living deeply and conciously. Harlan isn’t rewarded with riches and fame, but rather life itself. Hazelaar’s pale, country-toned acrylics accented with quilting squares—and in the central, transformative spread, taking the form of a quilt—are the perfect folk touch for Harlan, his trees and all that living. Nicely done. (author’s, illustrator’s notes, key to quilt squares) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 10th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-689-86169-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2009




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