Grandfather Tree

Written and illustrated by Allennita  C. Cooks

GrandfatherTreepic

Grandfather Tree is a simple book that makes quite a statement. The author has spent many years reading to and working with young children. She has also written skits, poems and short stories and is a member of the Florida Writer’s Association. This book is her first attempt at illustration; it succeeds because the simplicity of color and image works well with the succinct but powerful text.

An unnamed young boy and his dog are walking through the forest. He encounters a tree that reminds him of his grandfather who is strong and tall. He asks the tree, “Do you think of me?” He thinks of his life before as a baby and asks the tree if it remembers that part of its life.. He ponders about what life will be like when he grows up and asks if the tree would miss him coming to play with it. The boy expresses his fear of thunder and lightning and wonders if the tree is also afraid. Then he talks about the seasons using age appropriate analogies: the tree’s dropping leaves are compared to his hairs falling down when he gets his hair cut. He expresses his doubts to the tree. The boy wants to believe that this tree will always be there for him even when he grows old. However, he is unsure and afraid because he does not know what the future holds in store for him.

Throughout the story, the author integrates the boy’s thoughts into the story by showing a picture of what he is imagining and thinking in a bubble next to the tree. The facial expression of the tree changes as the story unfolds as well.

The author believes the book appropriate for ages four through ten. The simple pictures and the fact that there is only one rhyming line on each page make the story easy to follow. Older children will recognize the deeper layers of meaning in the story. The book is beautifully and lovingly done. Grandparents especially will want to include this book in their library.

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