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Once Under the Cherry ...
Allen Say
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Once Under the Cherry Blossom Tree: An Old Japanese Tale

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  61 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Allen Say retells with wit and vitality a favorite joke in Japan about a wicked landlord who swallows a cherry pit and soon has a cherry tree growing on top of his head! "Allen Say retells a classic makura -- a short story told in Japanese joke houses to warm up the audience -- with the sharpness, vigor and timing of a stand-up comic." -- Publishers Weekly
Unknown Binding, 31 pages
Published January 1st 1974 by HarperCollins Publishers
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May 28, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's likely to ever swallow a cherry pit
I first read this story featured in a reading textbook when I was 6, and it's been a part of my inner mythos ever since. Is that the right phrase? Inner mythos? Anyhow, when my daughter swallowed a cherry pit, this story and the pictures in it immediately came to mind. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book available from my library as an ebook, but I absolutely have to own a copy for myself.

The story is a classic Japanese tale about grumbly old man who finds a cherry tree growing out the
Chris Lutz
Title: Under the Cherry Blossom Tree, and Old Japanese Tale
Author: Allen Say
Genre: Non-European Folktale, Japanese Folktale
Theme(s): Treat others how you want to be treated, what goes around comes around, fiction
Opening line/sentence: There once lived an old landlord in a small village in Japan.
Brief Book Summary: A wicked landlord takes advantage of his residents. Once strange things begin to happen to him, he doesn’t like it when the others begin to take advantage of him though.
Jo Miller
On old grumpy landlord is taking advantage of his residents but once the landlord swallows a cherry pit strange things started happening to him. First a tree starts to grow from his head, he pulls it out in anger as the residents were enjoying it. Then a puddle is on the top of his head and fish are swimming around. The residents children tried to fish from his head and again he gets upset. He does not like that they were taking advantage of him, but he was taking advantage of the residents by r ...more
Apr 29, 2010 Josiah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This certainly is a very odd story, though I did like it. A Japanese landlord who is crabby nearly beyond belief swallows a cherry pit one day; as a result, a little tree takes root in his head and the following spring, the tree begins to blossom.

Tired of all the questions about the tree sprouting from his cranium (I can imagine that questions of this nature would not be few and far between in such a scenario), the mean man rips it right out of his head. This spontaneous uprooting leaves a ho
Barkshire Woods
Mar 24, 2016 Barkshire Woods rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this to pre-k to 2nd graders under the Cherry Blossoms on the National Mall while picnicking in front of the tidal basin. Perfect book for such an occasion! Great discussions with the kids too. And the simple but to the point illustrations were a plus.
Jason Martin
What a strange story! Great illustrations though.
Apr 05, 2016 Inge rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Really absurd in the very best way.
Jun 18, 2014 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the illustrations and the humor!
May 05, 2012 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
A Japanese folktale brought to life by Allen Say's beautiful pen and ink drawings.
The inspiration for the cranky old man is a equally real-life cranky old landlord whose Say's family lived with for several years.
Lesley Looper
I enjoyed this humorous story about a grumpy landlord, and how the people of the town react to his various "conditions" (including having a cherry tree grow out of his head!).
Samantha Tai
Apr 17, 2012 Samantha Tai rated it liked it
Funny tale about a miserly man who accidentally swallows a cherry pit and wakes up the next morning with a cherry tree growing out of his head.
Jun 08, 2010 M rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, childrens
This book actually creeped me out. The mean old man ends up having a cherry tree growing out of his head. Ew.
Christie Robertson
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Jun 14, 2016
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Allen Say is one of the most beloved artists working today. He is the recipient of the Caldecott Medal for GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, and also won a Caldecott Honor and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (written by Dianne Snyder). Many of Allen’s stories are derived from his own experiences as a child. His other books include THE BICYCLE MAN, TEA WITH MILK, and TREE OF ...more
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