Written and illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Seasons and generations all pass by as the acorn planted by a supposed Native American child grows. While the text is clear and sparse, the illustrations are full of detail that will delight kindergarten readers as well as third grade readers.
The oak tree grows while people clear the land around it and begin to build houses and families. A timeline across the bottom of the pages lets readers correctly interpret the historical changes in transportation, architecture and clothing shown in the pictures.
For the youngest readers, it is enough to see the tree grow and the seasons change. Older readers will quickly notice the more subtle changes in lifestyle recorded in the illustrations.
This book will satisfy the common core standards for science, history, nature, and literature in several of the elementary grades. It is a beautiful springboard into studies of community development.
Readers will get attached to the tree and feel some sadness at its passing, but hope wins out as a new little acorn sprouts right next to where the old tree stood.
The poster that is in a pocket in the back of the book is full sized and has the stump of the tree enlarged. The rings of the tree are marked with historical markers to show how each ring of the tree represents a complete year. It will make it more understandable for young readers to see how this one tree was present for two hundred years of America’s history.
On the back of the poster are several activity sheets that go along with the book and only help to enhance the information included. This would be an excellent addition to any classroom, school or home library.
- Title: As An Oak Tree Grows
- Author/Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
- Publisher: Nancy Paulson Books/Penguin, 2014
- Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
- Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
- ISBN: 978-0-399-25233-4
- Genre: Historical fiction, realistic
- Grade Level: K-3
- Extras: Poster of the tree trunk, with historical labels on various rings, worksheets that go with the book are on the back of the poster.