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Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems Paperback – March 12, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

George and Kiesler (The Great Frog Race and Other Poems) team up for another close look at the natural world with poetry that invites readers to meditate on trees. This time the visual delights described in George's poems slightly outshine the illustrations. The best of Kiesler's oil paintings are breathtaking: a trio of doves tucking their heads underwing in the starlight, browning pumpkin vines in the foreground of a pastoral scene, the moon snagged by a branch in the book's title poem. Often, however, the paintingsAparticularly those of childrenAseem to be frozen in time, lacking the energy and vitality of the images in the poetry. George plays nimbly with language and form. Her invented words in "Tree Traffic" seem simultaneously strange and familiar: squirrels are "commuters... rippling up and down,/ tails unfurled./ The treeway is/ heavily squirreled." George also surprises readers with creative rhyme schemes, such as that of "Cooperation," in which two horses, sharing the shade of one tree, stand "muzzle to rump/ rump to muzzle/ like a jigsaw puzzle." Especially elegant is George's description of a spring tree bud, "a tiny velveteen satchel,/ the color of pale cream" inside of which readers can find "one rolled and folded/ neatly packed/ leaf." Dedicated to "the saplings," this leaf-filled collection would make just the right gift for nature lovers. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-Trees in all seasons and used for many reasons are imaginatively captured in short poems and richly textured full-color oil paintings. The delightful use of language plays on the senses as it creates word pictures that are sure to entertain. The selections beg to be read-aloud and shared. Free verse, haiku, and bits of rhymes and rhythms reflect the joy children feel as they play in and about or observe all types of trees throughout the year. A celebration of these mighty living things and the people who love them.
Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618752420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618752423
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding
I'm using this book for my Arbor Day and Earth Day units with a combination 3/4th class. The poetry is magical and gives a whole new dimension to trees and the environment. George's poems have inspired my students to write some of their most creative work so far this year. I don't think any of us will look at trees in quite the same way after reading Old Elm Speaks.
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By A Customer on October 21, 1998
Format: Library Binding
I LOVE this book. Tree Traffic cracked me up and has been making me and my kids giggle ever since we read it. I like this book even more than THE GREAT FROG RACE--and that's saying something! Pick a favorite poem from this new tree collection? No. Beaver Dam, Maple Shoot in the Pumpkin Patch (I know JUST how that helicopter pilot feels!), Tree Horse(all the kids think spending time in a tree is an adventure), At Night (deliciously shivery), Tree's Place, Knotholes (...not for naught...I went off on a whole list of knot/not/naught--hole/whole/'ol puns), Poaching (brought to mind not only ripe plums, but also brittle leaf litter and sticky sap-traps!), Lullaby (I teared up--emotions from mothering memories flooded me), Blue Spruce (our front yard!!), Autumn (SO appropriate after the forest fires in the hills last summer--echoed in the city foliage in the fall), Storm (bittersweet after watching the neighbors have their beautiful, tall, authoritative tree butchered last week because they were afraid it would snap and fall on the house), Avalanche (brought back pictures of Mt. St. Helen's after its volcanic tantrum), and of course, Old Elm Speaks. I see I listed nearly the whole book when I just meant to pick out a few for special attention. So much for restraint!!
Our family rates this book a "Best Buy."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I searched Amazon for Tree Poems and *poof* Old Elm Speaks. I love this collection of poetry for all ages. Few things illustrate the life cycle like a tree and there are too many wonderful poems to mention one by one.

After you read a few pages, you open your eyes wider to the world around you - isn't that what poetry is for?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this collection! There are a few real gems in it, and my middle schoolers seem to enjoy the poems. That alone speaks volumes. A must for every classroom study of poetry.
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