As the oak tree blossoms, robins and squirrels begin to build their nests, bees fly in and out of their hive, and the tree comes to life. Not only is the oak a living thing itself, it is also a habitat for other living creatures that depend on it for nesting, food, and shelter. Readers follow the tree and its inhabitants through seasons of flowering, leafing and fruiting, the return to a deep winter sleep, and the springtime reawakening -- completing a cycle which has gone unbroken for more than one hundred years.
This story of the seasons of an oak tree is truly a lovely way to bring the beauty and wonder of nature together with fascinating facts. The author teaches clearly and accurately about the life that surrounds the tree beginning in spring and coming full cycle through the seasons. The narrative is simple and easy to follow. With each page he adds details below the main story, like the fascinating fact that flying squirrels don't fly but glide, and sometimes as far as 150 feet in a single glide! The illustrations are exquisite, yet scientifically precise, a rare combination and a gift Morrison has brought to his other books about nature. This book would be a wonderful addition to an elementary school library or science class. Though the reading level is age nine, younger budding naturalists will quickly become engrossed hearing the story and delight in the artwork that complements it so well. 2000, Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 7 up, $16.00. Reviewer: Kathleen OroszChildren's Literature