A quiet book for the preschool nature shelf.

TREE SONG

Rhyming text follows the life cycle of one acorn, from tiny sprout to crashing, fecund ancient oak.

Hushhhhhhhhhhhh warns wind and whirls seed down. / Seed lies, silent, on the ground.” Initially, the acorn is known generically as “seed,” but there can be no mistaking its photorealistic appearance—an interesting contrast against what appear to be computer-generated collages of the four seasons. Cartoonlike woodland creatures and ethnically diverse humans round out the brightly colored art. “Seed” waits quietly during fall and winter, escaping the attentions of hungry birds more than once, until it sprouts and sings its “tree-tra-la” near the bottom of a leafy green oak tree. Now it is referred to as “tree” instead of “seed.” As the tree grows, seasons come and go, and animals and humans enjoy their lives around it: They dance in its bright leaves; snowshoe around it; hold picnics; read in its shade. The illustrations make full use of different times of day, varying weather, and the underground homes of animals—all contributing to the richness surrounding the tree’s life. The idea of the tree as sentient and singing pervades the gentle near rhymes, and some little ones may become so attached they react with fear and sadness when the ancient oak finally lies silent. Fortunately, as with other mildly scary parts, soothing words and imagery follow.

A quiet book for the preschool nature shelf. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77321-001-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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