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
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.