A Year Around the Great Oak

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
Benjamin and Anna live in the city where they are surrounded by parks and fountains and buildings. Every school break, they visit their Uncle John in the country and are surrounded by trees and rivers and animals. Uncle John lives on the edge of the forest and makes his living as a forester. He teaches Benjamin and Anna about being careful around the animals and protecting the wild environment. When they visit in the fall, their cousin Robin takes them into the forest to show them his favorite tree. Robin's tree is a very large oak that spreads out in all directions but has strong limbs low enough for the children to climb up to and sit. Robin's tree is over three hundred years old and still provides shelter for the plants and animals of the forest. When Benjamin and Anna return to Uncle John's in the winter, there was snow on the ground and animals scampered around looking for food. In the spring, the new oak had beautiful, bright green new leaves. An unexpected encounter between Benjamin and a new animal visitor brings Benjamin a new appreciation for the job of the old tree. When the kids return in the autumn, they give the old tree a birthday party, to thank him for all that he does in the forest. The illustrations of the forest and its inhabitants are bright and cheerful, using earthy tones and dark hues. This is one of many volumes for this age group that discusses the changing seasons. Where budgets are restricted, there may not be enough to set this apart to merit expenditures. However, if money is not limited, this is a delightful representation of the forest habitat. This volume was originally published in the German language. Reviewer: Joyce Rice
Kirkus Reviews
A massive old oak tree becomes the focus of Benjamin and Anna's seasonal visits to their cousin. During fall school break, Benjamin and Anna visit their cousin Robin, who lives at the forest's edge. When Robin takes them to his favorite oak tree--"nearly three hundred years old"--the autumn leaves are yellow, red and brown. They build a den near the oak, watch hawks and squirrels, and gather mushrooms. Returning in winter, Robin and Benjamin ski to the now-bare oak, where birds and animals shelter. In spring, the old oak has new leaves and is surrounded by bluebells, catkins and cuckoos. Near the pond by the oak, the children see a hare, deer, a fox and badgers, and a frightened Benjamin hides in the oak from wild boar. At summer's end, Benjamin and Anna return, and there's a birthday party for the old oak. Realistic, delicate paintings use pattern, light and soft colors to track nature's transformation of the old oak tree during a single year in an innocent style reminiscent of Barbara Cooney. Simplified natural details of individual plants, birds and animals invite close inspection, while holistic scenes of the oak evoke an idyllic seasonal atmosphere. A charming celebration of the changing seasons. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780863159466
  • Publisher: Floris Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,257,599
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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