The Family Tree

The Family Tree

Book - 2011
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In the 1800s, a man clearing land in a beautiful forest to build a home leaves one special tree, but many years later the tree is in trouble, and the man's great-great grandson enlists a host of animal friends to try to save it.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, 2011.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780805090574
Branch Call Number: MCP
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm

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m
mmcbeth29
Feb 24, 2015

A man goes to a new land to build a home. He clears the land, but keeps one tree as shade for his home. Several generations grow up in the home and the tree remains. But progress happens. A road is built in front of the home. One day they plan to widen the road to make a highway. The tree must come down. The youngest child of the generations protests. Animals come to help him protest. The builders decide to reroute the road and time goes on.

The illustrations are quite lovely watercolor and ink. They are full of color and nice details.

The story of the tree watching generations grow up underneath it was wonderful, but McPhail lost me when he decided to twist the story and add a fantasy element to this realistic story. How is it that, because the boy decides to protest the cutting down of the tree, the animals all come to help? This made no sense to me and changed the flavor of the story. I felt I was watching a story unfold about a family. It would have felt more natural to me if the family and the community helped the boy instead.

Advertized for ages 4-8 which is about right.

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