Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 8
- Grade: k to 3
- Reading age: 5 to 8
In this delightful exploration of the seasons in nature, an oak tree and its animal inhabitants change and grow over the course of a year --- just like their human neighbors!
A large old oak tree stands near an empty house. Like the house, the tree provides shelter and a place to raise a family. From its branches to its roots, six animals share the tree as a home. Readers follow along as the tree and the animals --- a raccoon, opossum, acorn weevil, gray squirrel, blue jay and chipmunk --- change and adapt through all four seasons, from one autumn to the next. Meanwhile, a human family moves into the empty house nearby, and we see their story unfold, and grow, at the same time as their animal neighbors.
Bestselling children's author Pamela Hickman provides a perfect introduction to nature's seasonal cycles in this charming picture book. In a unique approach, the informational text about the tree and animals is paired with a separate narrative told wordlessly through artwork about the human family's parallel lives. Zafouko Yamamoto's art alternates between the wider view encompassing the tree and the house and a focus only on the tree, where close-up illustrations highlight each animal's activities. This multilayered story invites rereading and discussions about the various homes found in nature, and the cycles and seasons of life. It has strong curriculum applications in life science, such as growth and changes in animals and plants, ecosystems and habitats. The book also explores the interconnectedness of living things and fosters an appreciation for nature. Illustrated life cycles of an oak tree and each of the animals in the book, a glossary and further reading are included.
About the authors
PAMELA HICKMAN is the author of over forty non-fiction books for children, including winners of the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, the Best Book Award from the Society of School Librarians International and the Canadian Authors Association Lilla Sterling Memorial Award. She co-authored the first book in this series, Righting Canada's Wrongs: Japanese Canadian Internment in the Second World War. She lives in Canning, Nova Scotia.
Zafouko Yamamoto is a children's book illustrator who lives in Greece. A trained architect, she loves to illustrate homes and the people and animals that live in them. She is the illustrator of Ada Lovelace from the bestselling Little People, Big Dreams series.
A sweet, informative journey.—Kirkus Reviews
An excellent addition to elementary nonfiction collections ...—School Library Journal