Sunday, May 3, 2020

Review - The Nut That Fell from the Tree

The Nut That Fell from the Tree
by Sangeeta Bhadra
illustrated by France Cormier
Date: 2020
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

A playful, lively story about one acorn's difficult path to becoming a tree. This is the house where Jill plays. This is the oak that holds the house where Jill plays. This is the nut that fell from the oak that holds the house where Jill plays . . . In the style of "The House That Jack Built," here's a cumulative, rhyming tale that follows an acorn on an arduous journey, as one animal after another steals it, drops it or tosses it, sending the acorn inside an old shoe, high above the trees and down to the bottom of a stream. But in the end, the rat, goose, bear and more turn out to simply be the conduits that help the acorn eventually land on a hillside, where the warm sun helps it grow into another grand oak tree, which now holds the house where Jack (Jill's grandson) plays. In this lively story, Sangeeta Bhadra offers a playful depiction of the circle of life. The jaunty rhythm of the text ("This is the raccoon, a sneak through and through / that tricked the goose with a bird's-eye view . . .") and the use of fun-to-say words --- like, "hullabaloooo" and "pee-ew" --- make for a picture book that begs to be read aloud. France Cormier's richly colored illustrations add energy and continuity to the story, as the perspective zooms in and out and dotted lines follow the acorn's path. This book could easily spark discussions about plant life cycles, animal habitats and food chains.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

If I were to come across this book in the store, I'd probably walk right on by, based on that cover. And that's a shame, because this is kind of a fun, cumulative story about the life cycle of an oak tree that's done in the style of "The House That Jack Built".

The story starts out in an oak tree where Jill's treehouse is built. An acorn falls to the ground, and is taken up by various creatures. Finally, it ends up buried and begins the growth cycle. Things come full circle in the end with a cute twist.

There are a number of books in this vein, and even based on this particular rhyme. I don't think I've seen one that tackles the life cycle of a tree before, though. The illustrations are detailed and bold, with lots of things to look at as the acorn makes its journey from Jill's tree to its new home.

Overall, this is a strong picture book that would probably work well for storytime reading sessions. The rhymes are fun yet informative, and the illustrations are appealing.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.57 out of 5

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