Anna's Table

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In this heartwarming story, little Anna gathers items from nature for a special table given to her by her beloved aunt. Esteemed children's author Eve Bunting shows youngsters the poetry of beach rocks and sea shells, mouse bones and a piece of tree bark shaped like a hand. Full color.

Anna describes the collection of natural things she keeps on the table in her bedroom.

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In this heartwarming story, little Anna gathers items from nature for a special table given to her by her beloved aunt. Esteemed children's author Eve Bunting shows youngsters the poetry of beach rocks and sea shells, mouse bones and a piece of tree bark shaped like a hand. Full color.

Anna describes the collection of natural things she keeps on the table in her bedroom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On a table against the wall in her room, narrator Anna displays wonders/ of the earth/ and sky and sea each treasured as both a marvel of nature and a memento of time spent with people she loves. A spiral shell that held a mollusk once reminds her of how her father waded into the ocean to retrieve it, only to get blindsided by a wave. He disappeared./ We cheered/ when he appeared again/ holding the shell/ above his head. Other items teach Anna about the fragility and interconnectedness of life: a mouse's bones found in an owl pellet, a lizard flattened by a car, butterflies killed by a sudden freeze. Bunting's (Smoky Night) narrative is bumpy, sometimes rhyming, other times not. She occasionally veers into the maudlin, but also finds eloquence in ostensibly reportorial prose: I have two dried and dusty nests/ that fell/ one windy night./ I have a shark's tooth/ and a geode,/ cracked across/ so I can see/ the crystal crumbs inside. Debut artist Morley juxtaposes impressionistic close-up portraits of items from the table with realistic, full-page (or larger) backdrops, framed in white, that transport readers to the time of the objects' discovery. The watercolor-and-ink paintings convey a beguiling spontaneity and vivacity, as if they were pages from an artist's sketchbook. With a publication that coincides with nature's annual renewal, this book should provide ample inspiration for readers to venture into the great outdoors and find their own treasures. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Anna has a table in her room which is covered with all sorts of gifts from nature. Each one has a story to tell and each one is beautiful in its own way. As Anna shares her special treasures with us she tells us where she found each one, who she was with at the time, and interesting natural history facts about the 'artifacts' of nature that she loves so much. One sees that it is not just the items themselves that have great value to the girl; it is also the memories that are tied to them that make them special. There is a shell which Anna's dad found for her in the ocean. In the process of retrieving the beautiful object he got soaked by a huge wave. There is a basket of dead butterflies, golden butterflies that were killed by the cold and wind, which Anna's mother helped her collect. A backbone of a snake, a dried sea-horse, a river stone, and a beautiful crystalline geode. Each different, each interesting, and each beautiful, Anna's nature collection shows us how truly remarkable the natural world is and how we need to remember to appreciate it. With beautifully clear, colorful, and vibrant illustrations this is a book to read and re-read. It gives the reader a fascinating view into the natural world through the interested eyes of a young girl. With a simple yet highly pictorial text, "Anna's Table" could be a great source of inspiration for any child. 2003, Northword Press, Ages 4 to 7.
—Marya Jansen-Gruber
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-A free-verse account of a child who keeps all of her treasures from nature on a table in her room. "I have a drift of butterflies,/their colors orange bright./We found them in the grass/one night/after a cold strong wind/and sudden freeze/swept them from the trees." She also has a blue jay's feather, the backbone of a garter snake, a seagull's skull, and many other distinctive items. Anna's quiet pleasure in these things and her close family ties are admirable, and the colorful paintings are skillfully executed, with lots of joy and warmth. However, while the story has flashes of Bunting's characteristic charm and a worthwhile message, it lacks dramatic tension. Add it if you have a large collection and/or a ready audience for thoughtful nature books. Otherwise, buy extra copies of Bunting's Butterfly House (Scholastic, 1998) and/or Secret Place (Clarion, 1996), also beautifully illustrated stories revolving around environmental themes.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559718417
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Publishing Llc
  • Publication date: 3/10/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 362,010
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.34 (w) x 10.99 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    Anna's table

    I've read this book with my 6 and 5 years old daughters. After finishing this book I was in shock, my 6 year old daughter, who is very sensitive had tears in her eyes and the my 5 years old daughter was obviously not pleased with the content either. Maybe I'm wrong but from my point of view children books should give out something positive and/or teach kids in some way. This author might have got awards for her work and wrote 200 books, but this book is totally inappropriate. We read daily several different books with our children. We read, talk about them, and ask questions, but it is difficult to explain why a sweet little girl has a table with dead lizard that was run over by a car, a scull of a dead bird, mice bones, dead butterflies, dead seahorse, dead crab etc. displayed on a table in her room. I would not certainly let my daughters to display such things in their room if you don¿t know what kind of disease it may carry. I¿m still getting plenty of questions and concerns from my daughters. Yes, books are written, so people discuss them and think about them, but this book will certainly never make it into our home library. I had a chance to discuss it with several people and a friend of ours who is a teacher - everyone agreed that author of this book went over the limit. Maybe if your child brings a book like this home, read it first before reading it with your child.

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