A Grand Old Tree

I went digging through my massive book collection today for Perfect Picture Book Friday and came up with this little gem. I actually forgot I had it.
Title: A Grand Old Tree
Author & Illustrator: Mary Newell DePalma
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005
Genre: Non-Fiction
Theme/Topic: Trees, Ecology, Life Cycle
Intended Audience: Ages 3 to 8

Synopsis (from The Booklist): “For many years a tree flourishes. It shelters birds, squirrels, and insects while flowering, bearing fruit, shedding leaves, and providing seeds that grow into many new trees. After the old tree dies, it still provides a home to animals and insects as it slowly decomposes. Meanwhile, its offspring grow and flourish, ‘home to many creatures, just like the grand old tree.’  
The simple text conveys the tree’s life and death in a matter-of-fact way…”
Opening Lines:  Once there was a grand old tree. Her roots sank deep into the earth, her arms reached high into the sky. She was home to many creatures. Birds nested among her branches.
Why I like this book:  It tells a timeless story in a simple, poetic and beautiful way. It teaches about the cycle of life, while encouraging a love and respect for mother Earth.  And look at that illustration above! Isn’t it cool the way the text looks like the tree growing above the roots?
Links to Resources:
1. A curriculum guide for teachers from DePalma’s website. It is very detailed and has wonderful suggestions right across the curriculum. This guide pretty much covers it all.
2. This is a great book to tie in to Earth Day.
3. It’s also a good prelude to the book Log Hotel by Anne Schreiber.
4. The Tree of Life art project from Deep Space Sparkle.

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8 thoughts on “A Grand Old Tree

  1. This is amazing. I think I need to start doing Perfect Picture Book Friday. It really helps people to see new books and how they can be used. I think it's also a great way to develop mini-units when we force ourselves think about how to use books. I am running to see if my library has this one!

    Kimberley
    First in Maine

  2. Thanks for sharing some great books! I am always looking for new books to teach content. I love that the author has teacher resources for go along with it, this makes planning so mch easier!!
    Barbara
    happyteachingfirst.blogspot.com

  3. What a classic book and very special for Earth Day. Great activities. The Tree of Life picture by the child was brilliant. Notice how everything is in spirals, a universal symbol in nature. Fascinating.

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