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The Busy Tree

by Jennifer Ward

illustrated by Lisa Falkenstern

"Gentle rhyming couplets describe the different parts of an oak tree and the roles they play in feeding and sheltering the animals of the forest. From the roots and bark to the leaves and acorns, Ward pays tribute to each in simple-seeming phrases that sneakily introduce good vocabulary, such as boughs, hatchlings, scurry and prowl. An amazing exploration of an oak-tree habitat for the youngest readers."
-Kirkus Reviews

"An old oak introduces children to the wildlife that lives and feeds in and around it ("I'm a tree, a busy tree.../come and see"). In its branches and on its trunk are ants, a spider on a web, a downy woodpecker, an owl, squirrels, baby robins in a nest, a moth's cocoon—even children on a swing—while chipmunks and a tiny mole live and eat beneath. The large oak describes its roots ("winding and long;/they anchor and feed me and help me grow strong"), leaves ("...breathing out air for all to breathe in"), and boughs ("…that creak, bend, and sway/shading the children below as they play"). Handsome realistic oil paintings set on white pages show details of the tree and its denizens in daytime, at sunset, and at night, in fall and in summer."
-School Library Journal

  • Texas 2 X 2 Selection

  • Growing Good Kids Excellence in Children's Literature Award

STEAM & Literacy Lesson Plans with THE BUSY TREE

"The Busy Tree" by Jennifer Ward inspires students to create original outdoor environments using their body parts as model "templates".


PDF Read-Aloud Questions & Activities for THE BUSY TREE 

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