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Mary Margaret's Tree Library Binding – September, 1996


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Library Binding: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books (NY) (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531088715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531088715
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,208,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This unpredictable fantasy of a girl's adventures in a tree is illustrated in a style that suggests Grandma Moses on hallucinogens: hazy-looking acrylic paintings combine the naive flatness common to folk art with surreal distortions. After planting a tree, Mary Margaret, an unidealized redhead with large glasses, shrinks to the size of a flower. She climbs up into the branches, where all kinds of fruit grow together and the insects are as large as the birds. She stays through summer and fall, then hibernates for winter in a communal cave. Drawson's warm-toned painting of the child cozied up with a bear, a leopard and various smaller animals exemplifies his alogical vision of natural harmony. When spring comes, Mary Margaret herself sprouts roots and becomes a tree?that is, until her mother calls her in for dinner. Although the prose is commonplace ("It was green, green, green among the leaves!"), this unusual story about the seasons offers images memorable for their curious plays on size and perspective, and for their madcap celebration of nature. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2?As Mary Margaret plants a tree, she begins to shrink as it grows tall. She climbs up to observe the tree and nature from a bird's-eye perspective over the course of four seasons. The young girl sees a robin's eggs hatch from her place snug inside a large white flower. In the fall, Mary Margaret catches a ride on a leaf flying into a cave of hibernating animals, where she spends the winter. She awakens in spring to the strange sensation that she is growing roots and shoots. She is a tree?until her mother calls her in to dinner. Acrylic paintings depict the child's fantasy. The suspension of disbelief required to make this fantasy a success is marred by often jarring illustrations. Seasonal transitions from spring to summer seem reversed. Readers see Mary Margaret in the tree in full bloom covered in a variety of fruits and next she observes the birth of baby robins. In the picture that shows her climbing the tree, she doesn't appear to be holding on to anything. Neither the acrylic paintings nor the text provide a smooth seque from reality to Mary Margaret's fantasy. The result is an unsuccessful and somewhat disturbing book. David Wiesner's Free Fall (Morrow, 1991) and Hurricane (Clarion, 1990) are more successful fantasies with nature.?Susan M. Moore, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 1999
Format: Library Binding
My kids all love this book. I love the vibrant and imaginatively drawn pictures, and we are all big Blair Drawson fans. Sometimes when we go for walks in the part we pretend to be trees, just like Mary Margaret! This would be a very good book for teachers to read their children in the spring time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 2, 2012
Format: Library Binding
I am always on the search for something different, something that will cause a child to thing and cause a child (and an adult, I might add) to stretch their imagination; to step out of the world of the ordinary and into the realm of complete fantasy yet still make a connection to that which is oh so real. With this offering by Blair Drawson I more or less struck gold. I am a bit surprised that this work is not better known. It is off beat, I will admit that, and if not approached correctly could, in some minds be a bit disturbing...in a mild sort of way.

At the beginning of the story Mary Margaret is planting a tree. She is digging a hole for the little tree where "She turned up several stones, some tin cans, two rusty nails, and an old bone." Mary is tired as the digging is hard work and she felt "very small." Suddenly she finds herself shrinking and the tree took root and started sprouting leaves and growing and growing and growing.

At this point Mary Margaret is swept in to a fantasy world. The tree is gigantic and Mary Margaret begins to climb and climb and climb. She discovers an entirely new world in the tree, strange insects, birds, fluttering and chattering. She takes a rest in a large white blossom and is almost eaten by a very large woodpecker!

The seasons change. Mary Margaret is swept away with the falling leaves and into a burrow where she hibernates with a number of slumbering animals. In the spring our little red headed girl with big glasses leaves her "den," begins to sprout twigs and roots and growing.....!

Of course the entire story is one of the day dreams of Mary Margaret and when her mother calls her in for supper all is well.
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