The author inspires children from the goodness in the story of the kindness of the Magic tree in silently guiding the animals to find food for themselves and their family, and the love and caring heart of Maddie in wanting to keep the animals safe and fed through the winter. The gratitude of the animals toward the tree when they find needed food and the outpouring of love in the gifts with which they decorate the tree become the loving symbol of their love for the tree.
This story can be a channel to strengthen love, gratitude, kindnes and caring in the minds of young children. How was "Magic" shown in the story? Why was Maddie always so worried? What does the last illustration show us about loving each other? Why was Maddie so happy with her "hug?"
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Read an Excerpt
Maddie's Magic Tree
By Margaret Redfern
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2014 Margaret Redfern
All rights reserved.
Winter's Wake Up Surprise
Maddie's eyes popped open at the overnight shiny whiteness of the first winter's snowfall. It seemed to whisper, "Come play with me!"
She had a quick bite to eat and dressed herself in warm clothing and boots. Her eyes gleamed with excitement at the snowy carpet of whiteness before her .With one more pair of booted designs she headed for the nearby field leaving her footed art work behind her.
A sharp song of a Blue Jay shattered the whitened silence. Her eyes became her camera. The blueness of the bird and its musical greeting filled her with an early morning awakening. Her blue feathered friend was looking for seeds or other needed tidbits of food for its young nestlings. Her love and concern for all animals caused her to feel sorry for the bird in its hunger. She wondered where it would be able to find seeds of any kind buried beneath the blanket of snow.
Her eyes laughed as she spied two frisky chipmunks bouncing in and out of the snow chasing each other and leaving their own imprints of zigzag entrances and exits within the snow drifts. She wondered if they were playing tag with each other's tails or if they too, were searching for bits of pine needles for their nests or a fallen acorn or two for their morning's breakfast. The Blue Jay and the chipmunks caused an uneasy feeling in Maddie's mind and stomach. Where would the animals of the little glen find food to survive the winter from the hardened earth or frozen tree limbs? She decided she would stay outside for another ten minutes before returning to her warm home to finish her interrupted breakfast. She was so busy staring at the white, fluffy clouds above her, that she almost missed a tiny glimpse of a green growth pushing up for air just above snow level. She could almost feel its final push toward freedom as its tiny green tip appeared above the snow rather than lay buried beneath it.
She quickly reached forward and began to apply instant lifesaving efforts to the tiny sprig of green. As she brushed off the lighter flakes of snow, its young branches bounced out toward her with a sensed hope for new life. Once she had shaken off all the snow from the entire growth, she saw a beautiful little Pine tree now free from its dangerous burial and eager for the warming care of the morning sun.
Suddenly the wind blew the tree's swaying branches and they magically reached out toward its hero with a gentle thank you for her kindness. "Oh my," thought Maddie, "that was almost like a hug."
Continuing toward home her mind was deep in worried thoughts. The excitement of the morning's early wintry whiteness was replaced by the Blue Jay and chipmunks in need of food and nesting comforts. And now, added to her worry, was how this half buried young Pine tree would also survive the winter. She promised herself to care for and protect her newfound friend. But how?
A PINE TREE'S SPELL
Weeks had passed as Maddie had continued her walks into the little glen. Nearing her young tree friend, she noticed a foot or so of added height. The sun above had daily drawn the top most branches upward toward its sunny warmth. She had been faithfully brushing off the lighter layers of snowfall from its lower branches. She was happy that its roots were being fed by the melting snow's gift of water.
She caught sight of Mr. Blue Jay flitting above her with tiny pieces of twigs from the tree's lower branches. The chipmunks too, had found fallen acorns from the nearby Oak tree next to the Pine tree's trunk. "Another free breakfast," smiled Maddie as they scampered away.
A surprise arrived one morning when another meadow friend approached the greenery of the young tree. A young fawn, whose nose had been deeply buried in the melting snow as it searched for signs of food, bumped into the Pine tree's trunk. The fawn quickly stepped back a few steps and looked at what caused the scrape on its nose.
Maddie was at a quiet distance away and watched the sudden bumping between fawn and Pine tree. She waited for the fawn to leap away to a safer distance. Instead, it remained in a shocked position as it lengthened its stare toward the young tree.
Immediately after the fawn had scraped its nose on the hard earth by the tree, it spotted a sign of greenery only half hidden by the thin layer of melting snow. It quickly nibbled up a bit of the tasty moss. Maddie began to wonder if these little animal friends were experiencing what she had inwardly felt when she first became aware of the snow covered young growth. She remembered how it had reached out with two freed branches to almost hug her. Her little Pine tree had something special about it from the very beginning.
Excerpted from Maddie's Magic Tree by Margaret Redfern. Copyright © 2014 Margaret Redfern. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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