Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Tree is Nice

A Tree is Nice
Written by Janice May Udry, Illustrated by Marc Simont
Children’s Picture Book: K-3
Stars: 4 (out of 5)

Summary: This book talks about trees and the various important uses for a tree.

While there is no definite story that is told in this book, it is definitely one that is informational. I would not necessarily consider it to be non-fiction, but it is a bit similar. The story focuses on the separate functions of trees, such as a place to lay in the shade on a hot and sunny day, something to hang a swing from, or something to shield your house from the wind in the winter. The illustrations are very unique, and I find it particularly interesting that one page is in color, the next is in black and white, the next is in color, and so on and so forth. The alternating is interesting. I kept rereading and trying to find a pattern in what was written based upon the illustration’s color or lack thereof, but I could find none. This book won a Caldecott medal for the illustrations.

I think that this book would be useful in a science lesson or unit about trees. It is a helpful book to help students think about some of the ways that trees are helpful in our everyday lives, as well as the many, many things that we can do with tress. It would be neat to have students model their own writing assignment on this book, either continuing to talk about trees and what they mean to them, or the style could be carried over into another content area. For example, students could talk about spiders instead, or flowers, or farms. The possibilities are endless. This book would be particularly effective to use in a lower elementary classroom. 

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