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Oak Tree Hardcover – March 27, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-Another handsome book from the author/illustrator of Bald Eagle (Houghton, 1998). A simple, straightforward narrative in large print describes the white oak, its growth, and the animals that live in and feed off it. In much smaller print, detailed asides describe the tree's inhabitants and its full life cycle, which can be read along with the large text or enjoyed separately. Explanations of terms such as photosynthesis, transpiration, and dormancy and a discussion of the autumnal colors are included. These descriptions are accompanied by small, meticulously detailed pen-and-ink drawings. Larger illustrations accompany the major narrative, also done in pen and ink, with the addition of subtle shades of watercolor. Changes in color and light help readers to experience the passage of the seasons. Unfortunately, the full enjoyment of the book is somewhat marred by two visual flaws. First, the way the type for the title is composed is jarring at first glance-it seems to say "Toak Ree." Secondly, a very small gray tree frog (2 1/2 inches in length) appears larger than the robin (9-to-11 inches in length) pictured behind it. In all other respects, this is a beautiful and informative book for young naturalists.
Virginia Golodetz, Children's Literature New England, Burlington, VT
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

A picture-book format makes this especially appealing. After a long winter rest, an old oak tree is awakened by spring's arrival. A year in the life of an oak tree is described. Without being cute, Morrison manages to make the tree, its inhabitants, and visitors characters in a story about life and nature. Each phase of the tree's development is lovingly depicted in language and pictures that are scientific as well as colorful and accessible. Margin notes about the animals and processes are located across the bottom and along the sides of the pages. The notes are slightly more scientific than the text itself and occasionally threaten to overtake the page. Despite that, this book is equally engaging as reference or personal-interest reading for the science-minded child. Marta Segal

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Library Binding edition (March 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395956447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395956441
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,650,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on August 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Gordon Morrison's "Oak Tree" tells a simple story. It opens with an oak tree reviving and putting out buds in springtime. Morrison follows the majestic tree through all the seasons of the year, and depicts the diverse community of animals that live in and around it: the mourning cloak butterfly, red-tailed hawk, downy woodpecker, gray squirrel, honeybees, skunks, tree crickets, gray tree frog, and more.
This elegant but earthy book is packed full of nature facts. The beautiful illustrations are rich in detail. It seems to me that Morrison has a deep reverence for nature; such a reverence is communicated to me through this wonderful book. If you've never had the urge to hug a tree before, you just might want to do so after reading "Oak Tree."
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Format: Hardcover
Gordon Morrison has produced a fine book in "Oak Tree." With a single oak tree as the central 'character' of the book, he explores the life cycle of the tree through the cycle of seasons and over the lifetime of the tree. By including critters that live in, around, on and under the tree, a window into the ecological impact of trees is subtly gained. The book is easy enough to digest for the early elementary student (perhaps as a read-aloud), but the depth of material and beautiful pencil studies will interest any naturalist.

As an artist by profession, I often choose books for my children based on the quality of the art and that is what first led me to this book. Morrison's watercolor illustrations are not cartoonish or child-like in any way - they simply and accurate depict his subjects. As a homeschooling mother, I pick this book up over and over again when discussing life cycles, seasons, food webs, habitats, teaching art and simply for enjoyable reading (sometimes when the kids aren't around).

I loved this book so much, I just order "Pond" also by Gordon Miller and I am not disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderfully written and illustrated. The whole series is cherished in our family. Entertaining for the pre and early readers and educational for older readers.
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