Book report

-thinking and reading about trees

We recommend that everyone start with The Lorax or The Wump World and then move on to at least another book of their choosing, depending on class level and reading time. Rather than buying books, check your local public library or encourage bookswapping, where possible.

 

If you need a NEW book please support your local book shop and ask for books printed on FSC certified paper! See ACTIVITY 6 on page 29 of Thinking TREES-The FSC Race!

 

Ages 5+

  • The Lorax (1971) by Dr Seuss - 72 pages  A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
  • The Wump World (1970) by Bill Peet - 48 pages.  There are a ton of children's books written about taking care of the environment and quite frankly, most are dull and lipid, failing to capture the imagination of the reader and/or audience. THE WUMP WORLD is not such a book. Instead, it's one of the few pro-environment children's books that is actually enjoyable to read. The message the book teaches is more than just about pollution (even though the story's villians are called Pollutians) and has to do with loving nature, taking care of the precious planet we live, and the hope of good overcoming evil. The illustrations are amusing and capture both the mood of the story and the personalities of the creatures represented. For example, the Pollutians ships and machines look like real life contraptions, but with a monster-like appearance. The kids I used to teach in preschool loved this story and it was one I enjoyed reading, too.
  • The Fight for Plover Hill (2001) by Eilish Dillon - 96 pages. John's grandfather Old Dan, refuses to leave his farm on Plover Hill, even when the valley around it is flooded and it becomes an island. The only sensible option is for John to move in there with him. When their idyllic lifestyle and the rich wildlife of the island is threatened, John wonders will he be able to save Plover Hill for his grandfather and for the animals for whom it is a santuary?
  • The Great Kapok Tree: A tale of the Amazon rain forest (2000) by Lynn Cherry. The author and artist Lynne Cherry journeyed deep into the rain forests of Brazil to write and illustrate her gorgeous picture book The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest (1990). One day, a man exhausts himself trying to chop down a giant kapok tree. While he sleeps, the forest’s residents, including a child from the Yanomamo tribe, whisper in his ear about the importance of trees and how “all living things depend on one another” . . . and it works. Cherry’s lovingly rendered colored pencil and watercolor drawings of all the “wondrous and rare animals” evoke the lush rain forests, and the stunning endpapers feature world maps bordered by tree porcupines, emerald tree boas, and dozens more fascinating creatures.
    Awards: IRA Teacher’s Choice (1991), ABA’s Pick of the Lists, Reading Rainbow Review Book, NSTA-CBC Outstanding Trade Book for Children
  • My Grandpa and the Sea (1991) by Katherine Orr - 64 pages. The lively, colourful illustrations have proved to be the most valuable in supporting our work, as they have inspired paintings of landscapes and drawings of tropical fruits. Whilst the storyline is helpful in that it is told from a child's point of view we were unaware of the religious content prior to ordering. The story could be used in many ways, as a starting point for discussion about families, bereavement, special people and/or ecological issues.
  • The Giving Tree (2010) by Shel Silverstein - 64 pages. Once, there was a tree…
    And she loved a little boy.
    And every day the boy would come
    And he would gather her leaves
    And make them into crowns and play king of the forest.
    He would climb up her trunk
    And swing from her branches
    And eat apples
    And they would play hide-and-go-seek.
    And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade.
    And the boy loved the tree… very much…
    And the tree was happy.
  • Stanley Saves the Rainforest (2008) by Tony Frais - 84 pages. Stanley the spider returns to his home in the Amazon Rainforest to find all is not well.
    Men are coming in to the Rainforest and are chopping lots of trees down.
    The Rainforest is getting smaller and the creatures that live and depend on it are under threat.
    Stanley takes on what would seem to be an impossible task of saving the Rainforest from the tree choppers. Will Stanley succeed? What adventures will he have on the way?
  • Just a Dream (2004) by Chris Van Allburg - 48 pages. Two-time Caldecott Medalist Van Allsburg reaches a new pinnacle of excellence in both illustration and storytelling in his latest work. Since his first book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, appeared just over a decade ago, he has spun many strange and fantastic modern fairy tales, all of which spill over the edge of reality into magnificent dreamscapes. Here Van Allsburg introduces Walter, a boy who imagines the future as a marvelous time, with tiny airplanes that can be parked on the roof of your house and robots that take care of all your work for you. In the present, however, Walter is a litterbug who can't be bothered to sort the trash for recycling and laughs at Rose, the girl next door, because she receives a sapling for her birthday.
  • Where Once There Was a Wood (1996) by Denise Fleming - 34 pages. Deer live in the woods, rabbits live in meadows, fish live in creeks, and people live in houses. We all need homes. But we need not destroy one while building another.

Ages 8+

  • Who Really Killed the Cock Robin? by Jean Craighead George - 176 pages. Citizens of Saddleboro are proud to say that theirs is the cleanest town around. So they can't ignore the mysterious death of their mascot, Cock Robin. Some people would like to blame the citizens themselves, but one boy-Tony Isidoro -- suspects there's more to the story.
  • The Forever Forest: Kids save a tropical treasure by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini and Rachel Crandell - 32 pages. The 54,000-acre Childrens Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica began as an idea, a few kids, and a bake sale. Word spread and children from over 44 countries raised the funds to make it happen in 1987. Here is its story with a fresh twist, as young Peter discovers that his mother was one of those original kids. What a terrific way to learn both about cooperation and a magnificent habitat! Kristin Joy Pratt has done it again with a style that kids--and environmental educators - love.

Ages 10+

  • Hoot (2004) by Carl Hiassen - 268 pages. A young man (Lerman) moves from Montana to Florida with his family, where he's compelled to engage in a fight to protect a population of endangered owls.
  • Trash: On Ragpicker Children and Re-cycling (2003) by Gita Wolf & Anushka Ravishankar - 112 pages. Trash! is a unique combination of fiction and fact. Based on the real-life experiences of street children in Chennai, it tells the story of Velu, a runaway village child. He ends up as a ragpicker in a big city and must face the harsh realities of life on the streets. The story is accompanied by facts and arguments that connect complex issues—ranging from child labor and child rights, to lifestyles, waste and recycling.
  • Floodland (2010) by Marcus Sedgwick - 128 pages. Imagine that a few years from now England is covered by water, and Norwich is an island. Zoe, left behind in the confusion when her parents escaped, survives there as best she can. Alone and desperate among marauding gangs, she manages to dig a derelict boat out of the mud and gets away to Eels Island. But Eels Island, whose raggle-taggle inhabitants are dominated by the strange boy Dooby, is full of danger too. The belief that she will one day find her parents spurs Zoe on to a dramatic escape in a story of courage and determination that leads to an unexpected and touching conclusion. FLOODLAND has a powerful and emotive theme, handled with warmth and humanity.
  • The Man Who Planted TREES (2008) by Jean Giono and Michael McCurdy - 180 pages. The story of one shepherd's long and successful singlehanded effort to re-forest a desolate valley.

 

Do you have a book you would like to recommend? Let us know and we will include it on-line!

Or better still why not use the Thinking TREES BLOG to tell us?

 

 

Websites of interest:

The Magic Tree House

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Irish Woodworkers for Africa Ltd. T/A Just Forests
Dromickbane, Muckross, Killarney, Kerry, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)86 8049389  |  E-mail: info@justforests.org
Company Registration Number: 279353  Irish Charity No: CHY 10686 Copyright © 2017 Irish Woodworkers for Africa Ltd. T/A Just Forests