THE BIRD TREE by Frans van Anrooy


Email this review


Huge, glowing translucent illustrations--and a sticky little story. Mark is spending Christmas at Grandma's ""a long way off in a little house in the woods."" They have a tree, but how will Grandma trim it without money for glass balls and silver bells? ""Her friends the birds"" supply the answer--berries and nuts and themselves perched on the branches. Mark is thrilled, fetches his friends, but when the bad boys who throw stones arrive, the birds fly off; only the boys ""who were kind to birds and fed and cared for them"" get to see the tree as Mark saw it. A fight ensues--is it plain or is it beautiful?--which Grandma quells by telling all the children ""how hard the birds worked every year,"" etc. etc. ""The boys who had been unkind...made up their minds to behave better... And the birds knew and came flying back."" The paintings--wet watercolor handled with expressionistic disregard of Consistency and versimilitude--are stunning individually but en masse (and especially for children) a little much; the story is too much.

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1967
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World