Grand Old Tree, A.jpg

A Grand Old Tree

Written & Illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma

A Giving Tree for our time.

Once there was a grand old tree, whose roots sank deep into the earth and whose arms reached high into the sky. Every spring the grand old tree flowered and bore cherries for the squirrels and birds that made their homes in her leafy branches. And every year, seeds from the tree scattered in the wind, along with many millions of leaves. Mary Newell DePalma creates an emotional tale of life and renewal, of nature's bounty and quiet balance, illustrated with simple images made powerful with vivid colors and moving compositions.

Reviews and Awards

IRA Children's Choices

"'Once there was a grand old tree.' So begins this lovely, spare story of the life cycle of a dogwood tree, with nary a human in sight to sentimentalize (or to speed up) the process… DePalma's delicate tissue-paper collage and watercolor illustrations (with miscellaneous fibers) are winningly simple and her big-eyed animals are sweetly comical, especially the fruit-munching squirrel buddies and the fat, leaf-sailing ladybugs. A winsome introduction to the cycles of life." - Kirkus Reviews

"For many years a tree flourishes. It shelters birds, squirrels, and insects while flowering, bearing fruit, shedding leaves, and providing seeds that grow into many new trees. After the old tree dies, it still provides a home to animals and insects as it slowly decomposes. Meanwhile, its offspring grow and flourish, "home to many creatures, just like the grand old tree." The simple text conveys the tree's life and death in a matter-of-fact way, but with well-chosen words that are poetic in the economy of their expression and the precision of their imagery. On one page, words combine with an illustration to form a concrete poem, with the text forming the shape of the trunk and the ground and the picture representing the tree's crown, the sky, and a bird. Neither sentimental nor unfeeling, this appealing picture book offers an appreciation of the cycle of life through a story that is accessible to young children." - Booklist

"Perfect for story hour and for beginning readers, this book will make a grand addition to most collections." - School Library Journal

"DePalma's…cycle-of-life tale will draw readers in with its breezy, whimsical illustrations." - Publishers Weekly


Purchase Options
Indiebound • Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Fall 2005
Non-fiction Picture Book
ISBN: 0-439-62334-0
Price: $16.99/$21.99
Trim Size: 8 1/2" x 11"
Page Count: 32
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes

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