The Money Treeby Sarah Stewart, David Small
Miss McGillicuddy's simple country routine continues through-out the year in spite of a very unusual tree growing in her yard.
The Horn BookCharming and detailed illustrations portray a strong, independent woman whose life is graceful and meaningful.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books StarredA picture book for all seasons.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyPW 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 JournalPreS-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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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.