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The Money Tree

( 1 )

Overview

Miss McGillicuddy's simple country routine continues through-out the year in spite of a very unusual tree growing in her yard.

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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Overview

Miss McGillicuddy's simple country routine continues through-out the year in spite of a very unusual tree growing in her yard.

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

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

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374452957
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 687,879
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.81 (w) x 7.93 (h) x 0.16 (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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