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Condition: Used: Good
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Once There Was a Tree School & Library Binding – September, 1992

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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School & Library Binding, September, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4 With its exquisite endpapers, elaborate picture borders and richly detailed oil paintings, Once There Was a Tree seems to hold great promise. But a ponderous narrative and a didactic conclusion mar the book's potential. The story focuses on a tree which is struck by lightning during a violent storm. A woodsman discovers the broken tree and saws it down to its stump. One by one, a beetle, ants, a bear, a titmouse, a frog and an earwig make the stump their own. But who really owns it? "Maybe the tree stump belongs to allthe beetles and the ants. . .and even the man. All must live together." The message is conveyed without subtlety; the narrative is further impaired by its rigidly sequential telling. Lacking both character development and any meaningful exchange between characters, the story falls flat. Indeed, children will wonder what happened to the bear when the bird came along, or to the bird when the frog took over. Devotees of the illustrated book will savor the elaborate design of this one, but the story's heavy theme (possibly due to its Russian origin) will limit its appeal to children. Anne E. Mulherkar, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English, Russian (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • School & Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval (September 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0833543733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0833543738
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,052,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: School & Library Binding
What a beautiful, rich book! I can't believe I've never seen this book before a friend passed it along. Besides magnetizing illustrations, the whole story concept of the cycle of life is sensitive and calming. I as an adult find myself reading and pouring over it again and again. My 4 year old liked it at age 4 and now loves it more than ever. I also like that it was originally written and published in the "Soviet Union" so the perspective is a little different than the usual American fare.
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By A Customer on February 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was read read to me throughout my childhood, so i am saddened to see such a short synopsis. Granted that is the essence of the story, but what is most important about it, is the sense of interconnectedness in nature that Nathalia illustrates. Many different organisms live in a less glamorous way and often go underappreciated in environmental texts. It's about time that bugs and worms had their say, too. I thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovely tale about the circle of life (perhaps the retelling of an oriental folk tale). Simplistic in its presentation but with a much deeper moral theme. Easy for the very young to appreciate. A little disappointing if you are a Spirin fan. Good , but not his best work.
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Format: School & Library Binding
What a beautiful, rich book! I can't believe I've never seen this book before a friend passed it along. Besides magnetizing illustrations, the whole story concept of the cycle of life is sensitive and calming. I as an adult find myself reading and pouring over it again and again. My 4 year old liked it at age 4 and now loves it more than ever. I also like that it was originally written and published in the "Soviet Union" so the perspective is a little different than the usual American fare.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While the illustrations are rather dark and detailed,
the story of the cycle of a tree and the idea that
the earth belongs to everyone is such a good
message, I highly recommend it for its simplicity
and poetic style.
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