The Money Tree

( 1 )

Overview

In summer the leaves on the strange tree growing in Miss McGillicuddy's yard are harvested by many people, but when Miss McGillicuddy thinks about needing firewood for the winter, she realizes the tree may have another use.

In summer the leaves on the strange tree growing in Miss McGillicuddy's yard are harvested by many people, but when Miss McGillicuddy thinks about needing firewood for the winter, she realizes the tree may have ...

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Overview

In summer the leaves on the strange tree growing in Miss McGillicuddy's yard are harvested by many people, but when Miss McGillicuddy thinks about needing firewood for the winter, she realizes the tree may have another use.

In summer the leaves on the strange tree growing in Miss McGillicuddy's yard are harvested by many people, but when Miss McGillicuddy thinks about needing firewood for the winter, she realizes the tree may have another use.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW praised Small's ``evocative, pastel-filled watercolors,'' adding that the story of Miss McGillicuddy, her garden and her greedy neighbors ``will raise worthwhile questions for both children and adults.'' Ages 5-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-- In January Miss McGillicuddy notices a strange tree in her yard. Month by month, as the seasons change, it grows, faster than any normal plant, into a money tree. Friends, then neighbors, then strangers, then a crowd, ``surging back and forth,'' come to pluck its leaves. Each page recounts, in two sentences of restrained text, Miss McGillicuddy's seasonal activities and her observations of the tree and its changes. The illustrations in pale watercolors show the woman as tall, willowy, and faintly old-fashioned. She's a little out of touch with the times perhaps, but obviously at home with her own life and therefore attractive and pleasing. She is usually placed to the side of the picture, pausing in her activity to observe the tree, which is not always seen by readers. This enhances the sense of Miss McGillicuddy as an observer. The only double-page spread shows the crowds scrambling for the money leaves. It is done with black silhouettes against a dark blue and purple sky, separating it pictorially from the pale orderly pictures of Miss McGillicuddy's world. This quirky little story has charm, but it is perhaps too quiet and the woman too passive an observer for most children. She seems so cool and remote from the tree and the greedy crowds that when she takes action and cuts it up for firewood, the sense of completion and problem solved is diffused. Nevertheless, although not wildly ironic like Heide's Treehorn's Treasure (Holiday, 1981), this book, in a quiet way, makes a definite statement about the foibles of humankind. --Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
From the Publisher
"Charming and detailed illustrations portray a strong, independent woman whose life is graceful and meaningful." —The Horn Book.

"A picture book for all seasons." —Starred, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374350147
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/28/1991
  • Edition description: 1st edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.32 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Husband and wife duo Sarah Stewart and David Small have worked together on several picture books, including The Gardener, a Caldecott Honor book available from Square Fish. Small has also illustrated other books, including the 2001 Caldecott Medal winner So You Want to Be President?, by Judith St. George. Stewart and Small live in a historic home on a bend of the St. Joseph River in Michigan.

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion/Activities for The Money Tree

What does the title page suggest about the

setting of the book?

The book begins in January, when it is cold

outside and snow is on the ground. Study the

picture on the first page of the story. What are

Miss McGillicuddy’s wintertime activities?

Discuss how her activities change with each

month of the year.

Miss McGillicuddy has a May Day celebration

for the children who live near her farm. She

gives each of them money from the money

tree. Count the children who come to Miss

McGillicuddy’s party. If she gives each of them

five one-dollar bills, how much money does

she give away?

Make a money tree for the classroom. Have

students make one-dollar, five-dollar, and tendollar

bills to attach to the tree. Divide the

class into small groups and ask each group to

create a math problem using the money tree.

In July, town officials ask Miss McGillicuddy

if they can take money from the tree for

some special projects. Brainstorm ways the

community might use the money (e.g., a public

swimming pool, a park or playground for children). Divide the class into groups, and ask

each group to select a project to present to

Miss McGillicuddy. Instruct them to provide an

artistic rendering of the project, and offer an

oral sales pitch.

Ask students to write a thank-you note to Miss

McGillicuddy from the mayor of the town. The

note should include a description of the

community project that the money funded.

Discuss why Miss McGillicuddy is never

interested in the money for herself. Why is she

relieved when the leaves on the money tree

turn yellow and brown? How is her life better

when she cuts down the tree? What does the

tree offer Miss McGillicuddy that it doesn’t

provide anyone else?

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2005

    People go Crazy

    This is what happens when a tree starts growing where Miss McGillicuddy didn't plant one and the leaves are money. She just lets people take the money. But they keep coming and don't leave her alone. It ends, with Miss Mcgillicuddy having some boys cut it down and uses the wood in the winter. If you have a money tree, people will bother you, but I would still want one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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