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Tree in the Trail Paperback – April 30, 1990


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Tree in the Trail + Minn of the Mississippi + Paddle-to-the-Sea (Sandpiper Books)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 30, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039554534X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395545348
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The story of a cottonwood tree that watched the pageant of history on the Santa Fe Trail where it stood, a landmark to travelers and a peace-medicine tree to Indians, for over 200 years." Booklist, ALA

About the Author

Born in Jackson County, Michigan, in 1900, Holling Clancy Holling graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1923. He then worked in a taxidermy department of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and spent time working in anthropology under Dr. Ralph Linton. During this period, he married Lucille Webster and within a year of their marriage accepted a position as art instructor on the first University World Cruise, sponsored by New York University. For many years, Holling C. Holling dedicated much of his time and interest to making books for children. Much of the material he used was known to him first hand, and his wife, Lucille, worked with him on many of the illustrations.

More About the Author

Born in Jackson County, Michigan, in 1900, Holling Clancy Holling graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1923. He then worked in a taxidermy department of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and spent time working in anthropology under Dr. Ralph Linton. During this period, he married Lucille Webster and within a year of their marriage accepted a position as art instructor on the first University World Cruise, sponsored by New York University. For many years, Holling C. Holling dedicated much of his time and interest to making books for children. Much of the material he used was known to him first hand, and his wife, Lucille, worked with him on many of the illustrations.

Customer Reviews

We read one chapter a night and my daughter and I loved it.
Connie S.
TREE IN THE TRAIL is a story about a cottonwood sapling that stood along an ancient buffalo trail somewhere in the Great Plains.
R. DelParto
All of the Hollings C. Hollings books are excellent but I particularly like this one.
Charles Gebhardt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Nedd Mockler (frogwise@aol.com) on April 30, 1999
Format: Turtleback
This is a little different review. Fifty-seven years ago at the request of his mother I visited Holling C. Holling at his California ranch. I was eight years old. He asked me to pose for a few sketches he wanted to do. Later that year he sent me the book "Tree in the Trail." Inside the front cover he had written "For Nedd Mockler, who posed for the Indian boy in this book. With best wishes, Holling C. Holling." The inscription is dated "Dec. 1942." I have all of his books and enjoy looking at them still. Lucille Holling, his wife, was a water color artist and helped with many of his projects. (I would like to correspond with the gentleman who wrote the first review. Would you give him my name, phone and email address. Thanks)
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on February 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This much-loved Children's Classic, written in an era where the phrase "politically correct" was unheard of, tells the simple, exquisite story of a tree, a boy, a special place & the coming of the seasons & centuries.
In the beginning of the cottonwood's life, a Kansas Indian boy builds a barricade to protect it from the thirsty herds of buffalo seeking relief in the nearby pond at the edges of the American Great Plains. Generations of tribes of the First People gather at this high place & revere this lonesome tree.
Then explorers from across the world pass by with anger in their hearts & the pathway they find becomes the Sante Fe Trail. In time trappers & settlers pass on by leaving their marks, telling their stories.
This is the way I love to learn history: the ebb & flow of rich memories, evocative paintings & curious sketches depicting the passage of time & the tools of people on the move. Do check out my full review & other reviews of a host of children's books.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 1997
Format: Paperback
I am 58 years old, as a small boy my mother gave me this book (original edition). It was my favorite book of the hundreds available to me (very literate family). Would love to get two of the original editions for my grandsons.. Hate to give up my copy which I still have after 50 yrs....Proabably 5/6 yrs old interests different today than in the mid-1940's but I would still recommend this book as a great imagination stimulas for a small boy.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. DelParto VINE VOICE on March 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
TREE IN THE TRAIL is a story about a cottonwood sapling that stood along an ancient buffalo trail somewhere in the Great Plains. Holling Clancy Holling writes an enriched narrative that centers on history, which involved early contact between Europeans and Native Americans, and the exchange of goods and resources that occurred between these groups of people. Holling stresses the beauty of the natural landscape and environment of the Great Plains and the Southwest region of North America, and the encounters that the people observed and experienced as a result of several technological advances - the steamboat and the Conestoga Wagon, which allowed increased contact and relations.

The story takes place within a span of 300 years. From the arrival of Coronado for the search for gold in 1540 to the establishment of New Mexico, Holling tells the story of a tree that lived over hundred years, but succumbed to age and natural destruction. However, a part of the tree was revived in the form of an ox yoke that two mountain men, Buck Smith and Jed Simpson happened to carve out from a portion of her trunk, and transformed it into a beautiful yoke. The unique aspect of Holling's stories and books are that he provides little side notes in the form of illustrations that are positioned within each different chapter that provide an additional historical interpretation of Indian, French trappers, and cultural life of the people that inhabited and ventured into Taos, Santa Fe, and Kansas territory.

History is a major part of the book. Holling illustrated and wrote the story, but also acknowledged his wife, Lucille Webster Holling, as a major contributor to the illustrations and research that was conducted about the trail and the map.
Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on March 11, 2007
Format: School & Library Binding
I first read "The Tree in the Trail" about 45 years ago - then shared it with my son years later. It sparked my imagination as a 10 year old girl living in Australia and it did the same for him years later. It does not speak down to children. It is literate and assumes an average 10 year old has imagination and concentration and is able to dream! We went on to "Paddle to the Sea" and he remembers that with great fondness as well. They are both on the list for my 3 year old granddaughter in a few years. We need more books like this one!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SteamNPC on August 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read these books by Holling C. Holling over 60 years ago. They made quite an impression on me--a great way to learn some basic geography and history. I purchased these recently for my grandchildren. Their mother reads to them. And even at age 5 years, they say these books are their favoritess. I strongly recomend them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Clayborn on September 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
My kids (4, 6) really enjoy this book.
We have read it several times.
The style was a bit cumbersome intitially, but they caught on and asked questions when needed.
On a summer road trip this year we traveled along the Sante Fe trail for a short time and they were so excited to already know some history of the area.
I do feel the author's condescending approach to the Native Americans seeps through in some passages however, resulting in a 4 rather than 5 star review.
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