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Trees Hardcover – April, 1992
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-- ``Trees are the kindest things I know,'' begins this picture-book version of the often anthologized poem, illustrated with pictures that have the precise look of botanical prints. While some of the verses are quite lovely, others are flawed by vagueness, sentimentality, or mundane images that contain no immediacy, no surprise. The paintings are technically well executed, and are attractive, in a remote kind of way. But they have a curious stillness that conveys an eerie quality that works against the subject matter and the intended mood. Try Arnold Adoff's In For Winter, Out For Spring (HBJ, 1991) for celebratory poetry in picture-book format that is both warmer and more vivid. --Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
With so much going for it, this ought to be a winner: trees are close to all good hearts; Behn is a fine poet who deserves wider recognition; and Endicott's stylized illustrations, artfully combining Japanese references and precision with bits of realistic detail--all in gorgeous, sophisticated colors--are striking. But, unfortunately, Behn's quiet, unassuming little poem (copyright 1949; ``Trees are the kindest things I know,/They do no harm, they simply grow/And spread a shade for sleepy cows/And gather birds among their boughs'') is almost lost in the grandiose art, which sports with the visual images without ever conveying the ``kindness'' that is Behn's keynote. It's a nice poem, certainly worth remembering, but this edition seems extraneous. (Poetry/Picture book. 3-8) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
a Haiku poem. The poem is compressed into short verse that
moves the tree from season to season. The poem is about the
relationship of the reader to a tree and the tree's relationship to
the world.. Through the kindness of the tree, a bird's nest finds
it's home, colorful leaves drop at Halloween, and fruit is given
to us. The tree lives above us. It is the first to feel the touch of
the sun in the morning and the moon at night. The illustrations ,
by James Endicott move across the page like a quiet dance.
Each pictures shows a detail of the tree as it makes it's
transformation throughout the year in simple lines and curves
that is reminiscent of Japanese drawing. By the end of the book
we have seen, both in words and pictures, day turning into night,
the seasons changing and are reminded that one tree's kindness
has been seen and felt through the eyes of many generations