THE OAK TREE by Laura Jane Coats


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Lovingly rendered in such detail that we imagine we can see every leaf, the oak tree in Coats' picture-book occupies the center of every fight-hand page. In two hour intervals, a day goes by; the animals--and humans--who pass the tree and enjoy its shade, its protection, its beauty, its climable-ness are described simply: ""At twelve o'clock children play croquet and picnic in the shade. At six o'clock the sun goes down, and as it does the moon begins to rise."" While the oak stands resolute and noble, the life around it runs, patters, rests, hides. The squirrel gathers acorns, and on the dedication page we see one sprouting. There is a feeling of massive, unchangeable force in these portraits of the oak which, through tempest and time, keeps on being an oak tree. Would one hope for a greater feeling of the tree's life, of tossing boughs and cracking limbs? Maybe not--for the audience who will listen to this book, as a single day seems long and ponderous, the oak tree seems eternal.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Macmillan