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Children's Literature Reviews
Item 1 of 1

The grandad tree
Trish Cooke ; illustrated by Sharon Wilson.
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2000.
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 23 cm.


The changing nature of their apple tree, as it grows and goes through the seasons, reminds Leigh and Vin of their grandfather, who is gone but lives on in their memories.

Best Books:

Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, 13th Edition, 2002 ; National Council of Teachers of English; United States
Booklist Book Review Stars, June 1 & 15, 2000 ; American Library Association; United States
Kaleidoscope, A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8, Fourth Edition, 2003 ; National Council of Teachers of English; United States

Reading Measurement Programs:

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Lower Grade
Book Level 2.4
Accelerated Reader Points 0.5

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.
Adult Directed
Lexile Measure 460


Ellen Mandel (Booklist, June 1 & 15, 2000 (Vol. 96, No. 19 & 20))
Like the strong, lean branches of a tree, Cooke's spare words form a frame for Wilson's lush, evocative pastel artwork. With fresh appeal and poignancy, the art and text draw the familiar analogy between the seasons of nature and the passage of human life. Wilson's art--a stunning blend of realism and impressionism--pictures Grandad and his grandchildren together under the apple tree at the bottom of the garden. Sometimes they're repairing a bicycle, laughing, or listening to Grandad play his fiddle beneath branches laden with ripe apples. As autumn approaches, Grandad sits in the tree's shade while the children harvest fruit. Winter sees a frailer Grandad watching from his bedroom window as the youngsters play in the snow under the tree. Then Grandad dies, but he doesn't really go away: the children study him in photos in the family album, play his fiddle, and plant and nurture an apple tree in his memory. The family is African American, but the sentiments conveyed are universal in this quiet, tender story, ripe with meaning and love. A beautiful book to soothe mourning hearts and celebrate intergenerational relationships. Category: Middle Readers. 2000, Candlewick, $15.99. Ages 6-8. Starred Review.

Lisa Hillstrom (Children's Literature)
The story leads us on a symbolic circle--grandad's life through an apple tree's seasons. It begins at a full-grown apple tree with the children talking about their grandad. Each season of the tree is a season in their grandad's life. First he was a man, then a husband, next a father, and then a grandad. The soft illustrations gently lead the reader through grandad's life and then to his death. Delicately, the reader is reminded that people don't go away forever because of the memories that are left behind. The story ends back at the apple tree, where the children plant another seedling next to it in remembrance of their grandad. This book is a celebration of life more than anything else. It may help the very young understand aging, or it may help to cope with the loss of a loved one. 2000, Candlewick Press, $15.99. Ages 4 to 8.

S. Latson (Parent Council Volume 8)
This beautifully illustrated book about the cycle of life uses an apple tree as metaphor. Leigh plants a seed with her grandfather and then watches it bloom and grow. As the apple tree changes with the seasons, the family changes and grows older. The love they have for their grandfather, however, continues forever. A gentle book, with a simple, yet powerful message. 2000, Candlewick Press, $15.99. Ages 3 to 10.

Wade Kinnin (The Lorgnette - Heart of Texas Reviews (Vol. 13, No. 2))
THE GRANDAD TREE is a story about the seasons and changes of life. Vin and her brother Leigh relate how the apple tree in their backyard will be there forever. It will remind them of all the many times they played with their Granddad underneath it. In spring the tree is covered with blossoms, in summer the tree bears fruit, in autumn the leaves fall off, and in winter it is covered with snow. The apple tree changes with the seasons, yet it does not go away. Therefore, their love and memories of their Granddad will be there forever because they will remember. This story presents a great analogy for those children who have had to deal with the death of a loved one. As long as they remember all the wonderful times they have shared with the person, that loved one will live forever. The beautiful full-page illustrations captivate the reader and depict the changes in the seasons and in life. Grades PreK-2. 2000, Candlewick, Unpaged, $15.99. Ages 3 to 8.


Death Fiction.
Nature Fiction.
Trees Fiction.
Grandfathers Fiction.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ7.C77494 Gr 2000
99028783 [E]
0763608157 (alk. paper)
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