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THE BUSY TREE by Jennifer Ward


by Jennifer Ward & illustrated by Lisa Falkenstern

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5550-9
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Gentle rhyming couplets describe the different parts of an oak tree and the roles they play in feeding and sheltering the animals of the forest. From the roots and bark to the leaves and acorns, Ward pays tribute to each in simple-seeming phrases that sneakily introduce good vocabulary, such as boughs, hatchlings, scurry and prowl. “These are my branches, leafy and high, / a sidewalk for squirrels that soar through the sky.” The tale comes full circle as the boy and girl who take shelter under that tree find some acorns and plant another generation of busy trees. In her debut picture book, Falkenstern’s oil paintings are a wonder. The animals are rendered with such realism and depth as to seem ready to come right off the pages, each claw, feather and whisker perfectly placed. The broken eggshells give the impression of delicacy, while the dew on the leaves looks as if a touch will leave a finger wet. An amazing exploration of an oak-tree habitat for the youngest readers. (Picture book. 3-8)