January 2010

Tell Me, Tree

Gail Gibbons, one of my absolute favorite children’s book authors, created a wonderful introduction to trees in her book, Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids. Big and beautiful, with lovely watercolor paintings featuring all of the different trees and kids from a wide range of ethnicities, it’s a comprehensive and delightful book about trees.

Geared at ages four to eight, the book goes into all of the different parts of the tree (which may be a little advanced for some kiddos, as well as some of the vocabulary presented in the book; but it’s still interesting for them to hear about), as well as all of the other things that make a tree special.

Jack London, "Call of the Wild"

This book is sort of a companion to White Fang, which is why I wanted to review them together.  Their plots are mirror images, which offers interesting opportunities for the old "compare/contrast" exercise.  In White Fang, a wild dog is civilized; in Call of the Wild, a lazy domesticated dog goes wild.  

Jack London is considered a beloved author, but his works exhibit an almost cartoonishly ridiculous understanding of masculinity, particularly as it relates to civilization in general.  I enjoy London's books, and I have read several of them repeatedly, but the man makes Hemingway look nuanced.