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A Tree Is Nice Paperback – June 26, 1987

42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Caldecott award-winning book that speaks simply and elegantly of the many pleasures a tree provides. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"A radiant and buoyant picture book." -- -- The Horn Book

"This is one of those books which prick a child into a realization of the beauty of the everyday world." -- -- The New York Times

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 420L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (June 26, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064431479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064431477
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The best early readers are those that focus on a subject that a child can easily understand, use simple words, and have illustrations that perfectly capture the words. A Tree Is Nice easily passes those tests. The book is a Caldecott medal winner for its illustrations.
The book explores all of the many benefits that trees bring us. They "fill up the sky," and "make everything beautiful." "Even if you have just one tree, it is nice too." The book goes on to describe the beauty of leaves, the fun of playing in them, and even bonfires with them in the fall when they are at their most beautiful. You can climb the tree, lean things up against the tree, enjoy the shade, be protected from winds, use the sticks for drawing in the sand, and hang swings and flower baskets in the branches. Trees make perfect backgrounds for picnics, too.
My favorite part of the book is the section about planting a tree. Ms. Udry points out that you can put a tree in, and watch it grow. Then you can tell others that you planted it, and they will want to plant one, too. I remember planting some trees as a cub scout, and revisiting them as a middle-aged man and taking great delight in seeing them become a large, leafy oasis in what had been a barren field.
The illustrations are terrific. The book's designer has created a vertically elongated page shape that accentuates the graceful trunks of trees. Half of the illustrations are in color (using watercolors with inked outlines and details) and half in black-and-white. The choices for full color are good ones (fall leaves, being next to a house, and with a picnic). The pen and ink ones with grey washes are very poetic in their simplicity.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By waldorf_curric VINE VOICE on August 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
A perfect book and a must-own for schools and families alike. This story dates from the 1950's and is a simple tale of all the things that are wonderful about trees. I could start quoting it but I'd quickly have the whole text in here which is probably illegal. Suffice it to say that any elementary school classroom which does not have this book is lacking. The entire list of what we use trees for: play forts, sticks to dig in the dirt with, houses for birds, escape route for cats, shade from the hot sun, windblocks for our homes... I'm surprised the Arbor Day Foundation doesn't give this book away for free instead of a dozen trees which are sure to die - it would certainly do better to promote its cause that way. The book ends with describing how to plant a tree of your own, as well as the pride you feel in watching it grow for years and telling everyone you know that "I planted that tree"; then "They wish they had one so they go home and plant a tree too." Okay, so I couldn't refrain from quoting it a little after all! This book demonstrates a real respect for nature and, by the way, it also won the Caldecott Medal. Of all the library books we got out this week, this is my must-buy and I'm going to place my Amazon order for it right now.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Soaring Heart on July 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Simple, yet beautiful text, lovely illustrations and an interesting shape of eleven inches long by seven inches wide, A Tree Is Nice is a very special book that I would recommend for all children.

The text is very reader friendly which builds up confidence. My daughter is a picky reader but she can read this book. She's just finished Kindergarten and they learned the popular two and three letter words which were called "popcorn words." Sometimes I feel that was good and sometimes bad because often she doesn't want to R E A D other words (sounding them out.) This is exactly where A Tree Is Nice comes in to the rescue! There aren't long, intimidating words for young readers. It has the perfect length for my daughter so that she doesn't get frustrated and is isn't too easy or too short.

But the best part is the moral of motivating children to be "tree huggers" by realizing how beautiful and important trees are and appreciating the fact that so many of their childhood memories have to do with trees such as climbing them, picnicing under them, fishing by them, raking their leaves and jumping into the piles, swinging high on the swing hung on them and much more. These memories will hopefully encourage them to plant trees (planting a tree is mentioned in the book) and tell their friends so they will go plant a tree too! The only thing missing to me is the science about trees such as the fact that trees clean our air. But I believe A Tree Is Nice is a great book for teaching our children to love this earth and contribute to it by planting a tree. This book can open the door for discussions about other good things for the earth such as recycling, conserving energy and eating organic foods. o8E

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By p31Mom on August 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a fine book, not extra special, but good and son enjoyed it very much. The words are simple - a sentence on every other page for the most part. The illustrations are clear and realistic, not cartoon or silly or washed out. Very realistic. Each page depicts a real situation for trees. A little plain in text and ideas but maybe that is just the old fashionedness since it was originally published in the 1950s. Also note: text does not rhyme or have a specific rhythem. One thing that I espeically appreciated about it was that it made one appreciate trees, encouraged one to take care of them and even to plant trees but did not sentimentalize trees or become a tree hugger type book. No "global warming" stuff. Just appreciation for trees and all the ways we need, enjoy and use them. "A tree is nice" is a nice book, enjoyed by all. Good price too! :)
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