From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Alfred's mother is outside rocking him in his cradle when she bites into a delicious apple and decides to plant its seeds. Over the years, the tree and the boy grow, and he reads, paints, sits under its branches, and often climbs up into its limbs. He also cares for the tree, carefully pruning it and gathering its fruit. When Alfred grows up, he marries his sweetheart beneath its blossoms. By the end of the story, he and the tree are both old and withered, and together they enjoy the company of his grandchildren. On a stormy night, Alfred dies, and the tree also perishes, split in half by the wind. However, the circle of life continues as a seed sprouts beneath the shattered trunk. This warm, simple story explores the idea of generations, not only for people, but also for other living things. Brightly colored, full-page watercolor paintings show the characters enjoying the juicy fruit and the beauty of nature. The apples could not be redder, and Alfred is the picture of contentment as he wiles his childhood away beneath the tree's branches. A good addition for picture-book collections, particularly for units on fall and apples.Leslie Barban, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
K-Gr. 1. A boy and an apple tree grow old together in both Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree
and in Rosenberry's The Growing-Up Tree.
In Rosenberry's story, however, the boy does not ultimately destroy the apple tree with his selfish demands. Instead, young Alfred and the tree give to one another until the day they both die. Children will love the idea of a mother planting an apple seed when her boy is a baby, a seed that grows into a tree just the boy's size at age one and produces its first apple when the boy turns five. The tree offers shade, beauty, a place to climb and sit, and many wonderful apples to eat. The boy offers the tree hugs and a bit of pruning and eventually marries his sweetheart "under fluttery drifts of fragrant pink and white apple blossoms." Two more generations frolic under the beloved tree's branches. Rosenberry's watercolors are vibrant, with a slight surrealism that adds a fairy-tale quality to this lovely, satisfying celebration of the cycles of life. Karin SnelsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved