Posts tagged ‘growing up’

A TRUE FRIEND

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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WARM AND WONDERFUL

The Trees Have Hearts

by Mrs. D.

Illustrated by Julie Hasegawa

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This book is beautifully written and illustrated. The delicate colors and fine lines will prove satisfying to the eye just as the lyrical language is soothing to the ear. I urge the reader to pay particular attention to the Preface in which the author reminds us that we should look at things through the eyes of a child and enjoy this period of wonder and imagination because it is a fleeting moment in time which soon disappears.

 

As the story begins a sad little girl is gazing out her window at the spring garden. She sees the trees just beginning to bloom. The little girl does not go out to play because she has just moved from another country and does not know the language. She feels lost and alone. One day she goes out into the garden and the trees speak to her. Sassy is the wise magnolia tree, Shadow, the weeping cherry tree and Chance, the beautiful plum tree. They become the little girl’s friends who introduce her to the wonders of nature and the creatures in her garden. She rushes home after school to play with them. But when summer comes, her mother sends her to camp. She is afraid to tell her tree friends and disappears. The tree friends are distraught. They send the Wind to look for her. The Old Wind finally finds her by the ocean building sandcastles on the beach. But she is not alone, the little girl is laughing with her friends. The tree friends are afraid that she has forgotten them. When the little girl arrives home, she surprises them with a gift that she has specially chosen for each of them. Chance welcomes her friends and shares her plums with them. The seasons change and the trees evolve just as the little girl has blossomed and matured,

 

We all know that things never stay the same. One day the little girl arrives home and her mother has a surprise for her. Will the bond between the little girl and her tree friends be able to survive this new crisis?

 

Read this charming story suitable for children of ages to find out.

 

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