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House Held Up by Trees Hardcover – March 27, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Though there’s a family involved, the real star of this multilayered modern parable is a plot of land...the artwork initially functions as stoic background for the story, with wide-angle perspectives filled with plenty of open space and muted colors. But in the second part, as the trees take over, Klassen’s compositions command more and more attention, elbowing the text into the periphery and subtly reinforcing the themes in play... Unfolding with uncommon grace, the environmental heart of this story is revealed obliquely but powerfully.
—Booklist (starred review)

The former poet laureate Ted Kooser’s HOUSE HELD UP BY TREES is a lyric, poetic story, stark but also imbued with a haunting beauty…Jon Klassen’s illustrations are quiet, delicate and nuanced, amplifying the text in fresh, original ways through the use of unexpected angles and perspective.
—The New York Times

Poignant and lovely.
—Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Ted Kooser, the United States Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his book of poems Delights & Shadows. He is the author of twelve full-length volumes of poetry and several books of nonfiction, and his work has appeared in many periodicals. Bag in the Wind, illustrated by Barry Root, was his first picture book. Ted Kooser lives in Garland, Nebraska.

Jon Klassen is the author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back. The first picture book he illustrated, Cats’ Night Out by Caroline Stutson, won the Governor General's Award for illustration in his native Canada. Jon Klassen now lives in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763651079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763651077
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ted Kooser was the United States Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006 and won a Pulitzer Prize for his book of poems DELIGHTS AND SHADOWS. He is the author of twelve full-length volumes of poetry and several books of nonfiction, and his work has appeared in many periodicals. This is his first children's book. He lives in Garland, Nebraska.Barry Root has illustrated many books for children, including THE CAT WHO LIKED POTATO SOUP by Terry Farish and THE BIRTHDAY TREE by Paul Fleischman. He lives in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on April 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pulitzer-winning former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser's birthday is close to Earth Day. To be precise, Kooser was born on April 25 way back in 1939, long before anyone thought of the annual observance. Nevertheless, Kooser has been writing about the tangled relationships between our lives and the natural world throughout his career. Now, he gives us this wonderful picture book for children (and the adults who love them). The new book is memorable partly because its story is so simple: A family grows up in a sterile suburban yard with a perfectly manicured lawn, the children grow up, the father ages, the home is abandoned--and native trees soon reclaim the place like rising pillars of some ancient temple.

Of course, followers of Kooser's work through the decades might read this new book as an offshoot of Kooser's earlier family memoir, Lights on a Ground of Darkness: An Evocation of a Place and Time. Anyone who knows Kooser's poetry and especially his family memoir immediately will recognize his voice within these new pages so beautifully illustrated by Jon Klassen.

Kooser wrote the earlier Lights on a Ground at the point when his own family was vanishing and their familiar haunts were fading. No, none of his family had a house consumed by trees, but Kooser makes it clear in his memoir that our human lives and our favorite family stories are woven through the places we love.

He opens the memoir with a poem to his late mother, Vera Delores Moser Kooser: "Mid April already, and the wild plums bloom at the roadside, a lacy white against the exuberant, jubilant green of new grass and the dusty, fading black of burned-out ditches. No leaves, not yet ...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Terry Miller on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You will enjoy "House Held Up By Trees" by Ted Kooser and illustrated by Jon Klassen. The story is told in the simple and beautiful style of Kooser's poetry, so adults and children will enjoy this tale of how nature can lift us up. I don't write a lot of book reviews (I've written only one other for a book by John Yamrus), but I simply had to let readers know about his wonderful work. I don't have grandchildren yet, but when I do, one of the first stories I will read to them will be "House Held Up By Trees." - Terry Jude Miller
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Sky Mcilvain on November 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this because I love Klassen's other picture books (which I could not recommend more). The story he illustrates here is a simple and touching one and I give his illustration 5 stars. Unfortunately, Kooser's text is not so appealing, either to me or to my grandchildren. We tell our own story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Sopha on April 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This had the opportunity to be a really fun book, but the writing is difficult to get through. It just doesn't flow very well. The illustration is very nice and the atmosphere of the book is good, but the wording is odd.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Beverley R. Enright on May 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Ted Kooser's poetry, and I wish there were more of that in this book. But there is too much prose. There is a bit of magic, but mostly the voice is too objective and cool. The illustrations are beautiful.
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Format: Hardcover
too bad some reviewers like cookie-cutter books, this one is a gem. wish there were more like it. beautiful illustrations but also a thoughtful story. my 5 year old daughter really enjoyed it. she saw the picture and was first asking me about tree houses before we even opened the book, then after reading the story we talked about how the trees wanted to be there even when the man worked hard to remove them. i felt it was relatable for a child, and as an adult i really appreciated the new perspective and the different conclusion from the regularly dull stream of typical childrens books. its a surprise and a treat. enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover
An ethereal story evocative of Virginia Lee Burton's "The Little House" and Bill Peet's "The Caboose Who Got Loose". It's hushed telling brings readers into an awareness of the noiseless strength of nature. In eminently beautiful and simple illustrations, Jon Klassen complements the story in an achingly meaningful rendition.It's not your typical picture book with a lot of 'bim, bam, booms'to hold the interest of a younger child.
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Format: Hardcover
A wonderfully written book with muted and warm illustrations that perfectly pair with the House Held Up By Trees. Children, like trees, age and grow, and the strength of trees continues to grow and grow slowly over time in this story as this house becomes a treehouse as time goes by. Two thumbs up! ~The Librarian Uncle
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