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The Gift of the Tree Hardcover – March 24, 1992

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-- New illustrations breathe freshness into this book originally published as The Dead Tree (Parents, 1972; o.p.). It stands as a tribute to the mighty oak tree, focusing on its majesty in maturity, through gradual decline to final decay. The interdependence of plant and animal life is clearly evident, including both those that seek its shelter and those that hasten the decaying process to prepare the soil for new life. The original text stands the test of time, reaching its audience with power and emotion as it directs attention to the forces of nature at work. The writing style encourages the young to develop a sensitivity to all aspects of nature without lecturing. Illustrations stretch from : cover to cover across double-page spreads to immerse readers in a forest setting. Seasons and years fade one into another through impressionistic woodland scenes that form the background for the oak and various animals that appear in realistic form. Color tones reflect the seasons, as they are softly muted in fall and winter; more vivid in spring and summer. These illustrations are far more vibrant than those in the previous edition. A perfect choice to use with Romanova's Once There Was a Tree (Dial, 1985) and Hiscock's The Big Tree (Atheneum, 1991) to promote a full understanding of the natural cycle of trees, ever changing, ever renewing. --Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

With a new title, larger format, and expansive new illustrations, a reissue of The Dead Tree, the prolific author's 1972 account of the natural end of an oak's long life: rotting wood attracts insects and then leaves holes that become homes for other creatures; after the tree falls, it continues to nurture and provides homes for the forest wildlife until ``there remained only a brown ghost of richer loam where the proud tree had come to rest.'' Sorensen, a Danish painter who also reillustrated Tresselt's Sun Up (1991), contributes sun-dappled, impressionistic illustrations that beautifully reflect an evocative text that's a reminder that just 20 years ago young children could be expected to take words like ``garner'' and ``moldered'' in their stride. One of the best of a spate of spring books designed to encourage the treasuring of trees. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (March 24, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688106846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688106843
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By E. Brown on September 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't believe this book hadn't been reviewed more than once, so I had to write in. We just got this from the library, and believe me, we'll be purchasing our own copy very soon, as well as checking out other books by this author. There are only one or two short paragraphs per page, so there's not too much text for my three-year-old, but it's written so poetically that we can talk about the meanings of new words. I can easily see older children enjoying this book as well. Or I can just ad-lib the story by pointing to the beautiful illustrations that show how the various forest flora and fauna benefit from the dead wood and help reduce it to rich forest loam. It's a great story that shows the cycle of nature, the seasons, forest ecology, decomposition -- all in a poetic and beautifully illustrated book that a three year old can easily grasp, and which I know will be a favorite of my daughter's for years to come.
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By A Customer on July 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This lovely picture book is a wonderful tool for teachers and environmental educators, such as myself, to use to help students see the ecological processes going on all around them. The story follows the life and death of a tree, and shows how the tree contributes to the ecosystem even long after death, as a home for animals -- different animals as it passes through different stages of decay -- and enrichment for the soil. I read this story to my outdoor school students (5th-6th grade), even though it is meant for younger children, then send them out to explore a rotting log. It is an eye-opening experience for many of them! This is a very sweet, simple story illustrating the cycle of life and death in an ecosystem. Enjoy!
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
I came across a children's book called "Sun Up" a few years ago at a library sale. It was written by Alvin Tresselt. It's about a day on a farm, but the writing is so lyrical and poetic it stuck out, and was truly beautiful.

This book, about the life of a tree, has a similar beauty. I love that these books aren't afraid to incorporate some craft and emotion into children's books. Not that that doesn't happen elsewhere, but there's something about Alvin Tresselt that gets to me. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great story about a dieing tree giving life to other creatures of the forest. This is one of my sons all time favorite stories. We checked it out from the library countless times, and I finally broke down and purchased this one as a Christmas gift awhile back. Years later, he still pulls this out and enjoys the story. This was also one of the early stories that he used as a re-aloud as he was in the early reading stages. We read every other page to each other, and it was the perfect amount. The illustrations are incredible too and are wonderful to take extra time at each page to enjoy...as each is a work of art. This story in itself is wonderful, but it also opens up opportunities to discuss life issues with our children, as appropriate to each situation as parents see fit.

Definitely a fan of Alvin Tresselt!
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Format: Hardcover
This is on out book list for Memoria Press. (Off the top of my head I'm not sure if it's for First or Second, but I believe it is in the Second Grade Classical Core Curriculum). Alvin Tresselt is not new to our bookshelf. Not is he new in recommendation by Memoria Press Classical Core curriculum. We also have Hide and Seek Fog and White Snow, Bright Snow both also Memoria Press primary literature read alouds as well as Rain, Drop, Splash which is apparently his first success tests on our shelf. We're reading this tonight to go along with our Forest for the Trees unit study, but I look forward to costing it again when we reach it in our studies next year.

Apparently this is a republished story originally titled The Dead Tree (1972) now renamed The Gift of the Tree giving it much more positive outlook as well as fresh (1992) painting illustrations bring the wood habitat to life focusing on one tree.

It's educational and lovely talking about the seasons, life span of a tree, and all the creatures that rely on it. A good recommendation from both Memoria Press and specifically HomeschoolLegacy's Forest for the Trees unit study.

I bought this used library book from ThriftBooks.com. I have an affiliate on my blog if you're so inclined.

We also have a few other books by Alvin Tresselt on our shelves (most recommended by Memoria Press as well) including White Snow, Bright Snow and Hide and Seek Fog, as well as Rain, Drop Splash! which we have all enjoyed so far.
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