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A GRAND OLD TREE by Mary Newell DePalma


by Mary Newell DePalma & illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-62334-0
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

“Once there was a grand old tree.” So begins this lovely, spare story of the life cycle of a dogwood tree, with nary a human in sight to sentimentalize (or speed up) the process. Indeed, through all four seasons, this ever-changing grand old tree is home to birds, squirrels and bugs. She flowers, bears red fruit, loses and regrows her leaves, sows seeds and has many children, spread far and wide. Over the years, she basks in the sun, bathes in the rain, sways in the breeze and dances in the wind until she can sway and dance no more. When she’s very old, she falls over and dies, but as a log she still provides a home to many creatures and her offspring keep on keepin’ on. DePalma’s delicate tissue-paper collage and watercolor illustrations (with miscellaneous fibers) are winningly simple and her big-eyed animals are sweetly comical, especially the fruit-munching squirrel buddies and the fat, leaf-sailing ladybugs. A winsome introduction to the cycles of life. (Picture book. 4-8)