Brown, Ruth. The Old Tree. Illustrated by Ruth Brown. Candlewick Press, 2007. ISBN 9780763634612. $16.99. 32 p.
Reviewer: Sandra L. Tidwell
Reading Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Genre: Toy and movable books;
Subject: Forest animals--Juvenile fiction; Toy and movable books--Specimens--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews;
The Pigeon Post is making its rounds. Pigeon is eager to give everyone their mail and to ask “Why do you have a big black X on your tree?” Each animal who is housed in the old tree is busy with life’s activities—Mrs. Rabbit is busy with a new baby; Mr. Woodpecker is making a new addition; Mr. Owl has a headache; Maggie Magpie is worried that the other animals think she is a thief; Mr. Badger is grumbling about his neighbor; Mr. Crow is watching out for everyone, from his vantage point at the top of the old tree. All the animals agree with one thing: they are unhappy with the rambunctious noisy pair of parakeets who are their new neighbors. Mr. Crow discovers, through looking through his telescope, that the X means that the woodsmen are planning on cutting down their tree. Instead of moving out and accepting their fate, the animals cooperate and come to a solution. They will still have a home in the old tree.
Readers, depending on their experience with woodland forest thinning, may or may not guess what the X means. They will also be listening and watching for the way the animals come up with their unique solution. The huge pop-up of the old tree on the last page will also capture readers’ attention. A great choice for group read-aloud. The Old Tree could also be adapted to a puppet show. The text carries the suspense of the solution up to the last.
Volume 28, no. 6 (July/August 2008)
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