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Sky Tree: Seeing Science Through Art Paperback – August 7, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Series: Seeing Science Through Art
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (August 7, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064437507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064437509
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Science and art appreciation join forces in this unusual variation on the theme of changing seasons. Accomplished oil paintings in a high romantic style show a single tree and its surroundings in transition-in deep winter or at the peak of autumn, for example. Quasi-surrealistic scenes of clouds, birds and stars filling bare winter branches challenge the reader to imagine the tree interacting with the sky and its inhabitants, and to ponder the liberties representational artists may take. Accompanying text lightly points out incremental changes in atmosphere and their effects, and each image is paired also with a question or two directly addressing the reader ("Why does this painting make you feel sad? Is the tree dying?"; "How does this painting capture the stillness of a snowy day?"). Written by Candace Christiansen, a chemistry teacher as well as a children's author, the questions and their answers (included in an illustrated epilogue) give a mildly scientific cast to basic lessons in understanding art. A modest introduction, but neither art nor science really blooms. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3?In his familiar lyrical style, Locker depicts the same tree throughout the seasons, but with a startling visual effect that will make readers sit up and take notice. After its leaves have dropped, the tree's bare branches are "clothed" in the same shape by being limned against clouds, holes in clouds, different skies, and even a flock of birds. The effect is as lovely as anything the artist has ever done. Each painting faces a brief appreciative caption printed in slightly enlarged type, plus a question designed to elicit responses to what viewers see (and further discussion in an appendix). However, some of the questions are leading ("Why does this painting make you feel sad?"), and the prose is less than careful: "By the end of the day many leaves began to fall, first one and then another." Text and pictures do not always correlate either; despite reference to "the weight of the heavy snow," the tree opposite "Snows [sic] fell" shows only a dusting. Though appealing in several ways?Locker adds analytical comments about color and composition that are particularly illuminating?the writing here is not up to the standard set by the art.?John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
I read this book with my 3 year old.
Richard C. Padgett Jr.
This book matches well with Citizen Science projects that I will use in my classroom.
maureen foelkl
Locker's oil paintings are beautiful and accurate.
Happy Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I used this book for a language arts lesson for 3rd grade. Students were able to illustrate the tree based on the description alone! The illustrations are spectacular and students were in awe. Excellent book to have in your library in school or at home!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Happy Reader on November 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Sky Tree shows how a tree growing on a hill by a river changes through all four seasons. Locker's oil paintings are beautiful and accurate. The text records the changes the tree experiences in simple language. There are questions at the bottom of each page where text appears that provoke discussion. At the end of the book, Locker gives a scientific explanation of each of the paintings: the summer tree, the change tree, the autumn tree, etc. This is a great book to use for teaching about the world of nature.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Emerson on May 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love Thomas Locker's art and share his love of trees. Each page of this book presents the same tree in a different light or season. Candance Christiansen's scientific and teaching background add good information to Locker's books. However, for me, it's still Locker's beautiful oil paintings that are the primary draw.
His painting of the tree with a night sky transports me to Georgia O'Keeffe's tree at night or Van Gogh's Starry Night. I'd have been just as thrilled with it at 3 as I am at 53.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chopin lover on December 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most awesome books I have discovered for children in a long time. The pictures are wonderful, the questions asked about the pictures are pertinent and thought provoking, and the notes in the back of the book are great!
I found this book in our school library, brought it home to share with my granddaughter, and she was fascinated! I am purchasing this book for my family library! Kudos to the author and illustrator!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard C. Padgett Jr. on May 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this book with my 3 year old. The questions were over his head, but he still loved it. By simply discussing the pictures he learned about seasons, weather, the life cycle of a tree, and how painting techniques contribute to the mood of a piece of art.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Smetana on February 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am creating curricula that integrates the visual arts and science. This book has it all.

What a gorgeous book to look at!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
The artist Thomas Locker studies a tree through a year. The paintings are beautiful. Realism never looked so good in a children's book before.
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By texasleigh on September 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love Thomas Locker's SKY TREE. To see paintings of the same tree at so many different times of the year is quite a treat--and very informative. I used SKY TREE for music/art lessons with 3rd graders for years. We would look at the pictures in the first lesson; then each student would draw their favorite tree for the second lesson. I would play classical music (Vivaldi's FOUR SEASONS)while they were drawing. I am ordering it now to read with my grandchildren!
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