Sep 4, 2011
A Grand Old Tree
The Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell Depalma
My son loves to make up stories. He's 4, so his stories are either really short or they go on and on and on. Last week, he got in the car and said, "Once upon a time, there was an old tree. Then it died. But then a young tree came and sang to him and he was alive again." I tell you all this, because I just read The Grand Old Tree and it made me think of his story again.
"Once there was a grand old tree. Her roots sank deep into the earth, her arms reached high into the sky." She lived for many seasons, flowering, bearing fruit, sowing seeds, and shedding her leaves. "She basked in the sun, bathed in the rain, swayed in the breeze." Her children spread far and wide. Eventually she got too old, dried out, fell down to the ground, "and snow gently covered her." While she no longer flowered or sowed seeds, she was still home to many creatures and her trunk became one with the soil. "Today the roots of her grandchildren sink deep into this earth. Their arms reach high into the sky."
The Grand Old Tree is the story of the circle of life as experienced by a tree. The illustrations are bright and in some cases, mingle with the words to form concrete poems. The text is very accessible for the K-2 groups and offers a good introduction to the life cycle.