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The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
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The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  3,295 ratings  ·  169 reviews
This beautifully illustrated and highly recommended book is widely used in primary schools in the U.S. to convince children of the importance of rain-forest conservation. Lynne Cherry visited the Amazon rain forest to gather drawings for the book, and the simple story and vivid illustrations capture the reality and lushness of the forest in a way she could not have by work ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 15th 1990 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Kathryn
Okay, first let me say that this is a lovely book--the writing style is simple but touching, the artwork is great--realistic yet still "artsy" (I love the inside-cover spread with the map of the world, showing the rain forest areas, and then a border of rain forest fauna). Also, I am all for the message of conservation--this one wasn't too heavy-handed, but still will help raise children's awareness that it is important to preserve nature.

This book still rather annoyed me, though, following a bi
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midnightfaerie
My 5 yr old and I really enjoyed this book. It was recommended reading for his lesson on South America and it's all about saving the rain forests. The beautiful illustrations really make you feel for the animals and the habitat and it opened my son's eyes to how we're all living things are dependent on each other. We also learned a lot of new animals, and we loved looking at the world map, a map he's become intimately familiar with. A wonderful book and great addition to any children's library.
Sarah Sammis
Stories with a strong environmental message lend themselves to children's picture books. The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry is in this tradition being a book with gorgeous illustrations of rainforest animals and plants with a message about protecting the Amazon.

This one embraces magical realism bringing an outsider face to face with the creatures who rely on the kapok tree for their livelihood. When the lumberjack comes to the Great Kapok tree he is overcome with fatigue and falls asleep at it
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Chris
It was a really enjoyable, really fast-paced and really well-written children's picture book. It had really beautiful illustrations, great characters, great message and a really good story. It's one my favorite children's pictures books I've ever read in my whole life. I highly recommend this book for children and adults of all ages.
Jacklyn
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry talks about environmental issue. Two men came to the rain forest; one stayed and wanted to chop off the Kapok tree. He fell asleep and all the creatures living in the rain forest that depended on the Kapok tree came to whisper in his ears try to convince him not to cut off the tree. The man woke up and saw all the creatures surrounded him, would he leave in peace or keep finishing his task?
The picture book demonstrates a dynamic ecosystem of rain forest. It
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Ashley Stude
One of my favorite children's book of all time, "The Great Kapok Tree" is a moving story with a great message for children. Growing up in my house, I was always taught that nature is a very sacred thing, especially the forest. My mother used to read this book to me all the time to teach me about the importance of nature. This book does such a good job of informing kids the importance of nature and why the rain forests should be left alone. The message in this book is a message that isn't taught ...more
Gwion Russell
This book is about a man who aims to cut down trees and destroy the local wildlife’s habitats in a nearby rainforest. However, tensions soon arise when he falls asleep in the middle of his deforestation attempt and is persuaded not to complete his operation.
I like this book as it can be used in a variety of ways: Role-play, speaking and listening and PSHE debates, among others. The main curricular link is to Geography however and it can be used to assess both arguments of deforestation, children
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Savannah
Kapok pronounced Key-pok
A great story to add on The Rainforest Grew All Around

Two men enter a rain forest and one attempts to chop down a Kapok tree. He becomes tired and the heat and hum from the forest lull him to sleep. While he's sleeping all sorts of animals come to beg him to leave their home alone.
A boa constrictor where generations of his family has lived.
A bee whose hive is in the tree.
A troupe of monkeys, "We have seen the ways of man. You chop down one tree, then come back for more
...more
Graham Lazar
Cherry's "The Great Kapok Tree" is a classic of children's fiction focused on environmental ethics. Cherry uses the story of a lumberjack who travel to the Amazon to cut-down a great Kapok tree. After the man exhausts himself trying to log the tree, he rests at the tree's trunk. Here in his dreams, he is visited by people and creatures of the forest - lizards, a boa constrictor, a troupe of monkeys, a sloth, and a young child of the Amazon.

Each of these visitors imparts a different message abou
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Diana
A man comes into the rain forest and starts to chop a kapok tree. He is overcome with fatigue and falls asleep and the foot of the tree. Numerous animals emerge from the kapok tree. Each animal explains how he or she uses the kapok tree for survival to try to persuade the man to stop cutting the tree. By the end of the book, the man wakes up and decides not to cut down the tree. I would use this book to teach students about persuasive writing. Each animal tried to persuade the man to stop hurtin ...more
Gina
The Great Kapok Tree tells about the many different animals that live in a great kapok tree in the Brazilian rainforest and the animals try to convince a man with an ax of the importance of not cutting down their home. It teaches student about respect for an environment and how everyone has a home and if that home is tainted, it causes dismay between one another. For a science lesson, I will teach about different biomes such as chaparral, rainforest, etc. and the kinds of trees that are found in ...more
Jennifer
This is a great science and social studies related book for my preschool students. We discover what a kapok tree is (they had never heard of it), where it grows (rainforest), where the rainforests are (social studies), and the animals/insects in the rainforest (science).
Corby Lancaster
Genre- Picture book

Reading Level- K-4

Topic and Theme- Preserving the Rain forest. To think about what the consequences are if cut down too many trees

Curricula Use- Read Aloud

Social- Make people realize the consequences of eliminating our rain forests

Literary Element- The animals speak and change the wood cutters mind

Text and Pictures- The pictures are beautiful and the they go together with the text.

Summary-"The Great Kapok Tree" by Lynne Cherry is an excellent story about saving the rain forest
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Karen

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry is a cautionary tale of environmental awareness. The author traveled to the Amazon rainforest. She observed the beauty that the rainforest held. She knew she needed to write about what was happening there. In the story, and in reality man enters forest to chop down trees. Trees are homes for animals, producers of oxygen, shade and food, they supply nutrients for the earth. They are full of great beauty. In the story, a man attempts to cut down the Great Kapok
...more
Jewels ♥ My Devastating Reads
I really love the message this story provided. To,d from the point of the animals that depend on the great kapok tree, they each provide reasons why cutting down the tree is harmful. The message is deep, asking children to realize that all living things are interconnected and depend on one another. When I questioned my grade threes about this book, they gave the most surface answers, saying it was important not to take away the animals home and to save the tree because it gave it oxygen. But whe ...more
Tasia
The powerful illustrations, the detail, the story! I truly love this book, and one of my little girl students loved it, too. "The Great Kapok Tree!" she exclaimed, looking so excited that it melted my heart. Definitely a hit with the wee ones!

Okay, so. Educational chat. We did use this in a kindergarten room, but the content was very dense, and so the teacher had to give just the gist of the story. Some of the more advanced kids were familiar with this book, though, so it does seem possible to i
...more
Sierra
The illustrations within this book were very detailed and full of color. I loved the main idea of this book and how it was about the beauty of a rainforest and how important trees are to our world and way of living. It interested me how all of the ideas were from an animals point of view instead of a human's. I felt as though having the man cutting down one of the Kapok trees was a good significant detail within the book. In this book, a man is hired to chop down a Kapok tree, one of the largest ...more
Nicole
This book is a exceptional picture book that highlights the importance of the amazon rainforest. The illustrations in the book are vivid and I enjoyed the bright uses of color used throughout the entire book. The story describes the beauty and all the animals that live and thrive in the rainforest through the full-page illustrations. The overlying theme and message in the book is not only great, but I think that it would make for a wonderful introduction for lesson plans about rainforests.
In t
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Kolbi Dixon
The Great Kapok Tree is a bit more adventurous. I actually learned a few things myself about rain forests and what kind of animals live there. I like how she took facts and may them very interesting for the children. An example is how the young man was trying to cut down the tree and falls asleep (which was kind of unrealistic for him to just suddenly fall asleep on the ground but hey who pays attention to those things) and the animals come down and explain to him why it is very dangerous for hi ...more
Furbjr
I was asked to read this to my two youngest children as a bed time story. The artwork is quite good in my estimation, but the text was insipid.

The basic premise of the story is that two men enter the forest. One man directs the other to fell a gigantic Kapok tree, and then he leaves the other man to complete the task.

The other man starts in on his task, but is quickly fatigued by the task and stops to take a nap. While in his repose all the forest animals talk to the logger. When the man awakes,
...more
Catherine Fevery
I highly suggest that you read this book and find out it is a great lesson about nature and its importance. The book is about two men go into the rainforest. The forest becomes quite as the men go through the forest. One man decides to start chopping down the Kapok tree. A snake becomes upset at the man chopping down the tree and whispers in his ear that the tree is his home. A bee then confronts the man and whispers in his ear. All the animals confront the man and confront the man the importanc ...more
Kelly Havens
This picture book takes place in a rain forest and has an underlying theme of sustainability. It is about a man who stops by a Kapok tree in the forest and tries to cut down a tree with his ax. Unfortunately for him, whacking at the Kapok tree made him very tired and he fell asleep at the foot of it. During his nap, many different creatures and even a child of the rain forest came to him and whispered in his ear the miracles of the tree. When the man eventually awoke, he was overcome by the comp ...more
Melisa
This story was made on the Amazon rain forest. This story is called the great kapok tree. This is the story of a community of animals that live in one such tree in the rain forest. The book is about a man that went to the forest, he wanted to cut a tree because that tree was amazing, but it was hard to cut .He couldn’t cut it he got tired so he went to take a nap. At the end when he was sleeping many animals went to talk at him and told him why they needed that tree and to not destroy it. I thin ...more
Judy Lindow
Can and should be read to K through 5th. I enjoyed it as an adult. It can be used to support teaching (from a beginning to advanced level) the environmental impacts of our cutting down trees and specifically the Amazon rain forests.

The illustrations are lush and the narrative builds suspense using the voices of the different animals who demand, plead and argue for the man (I.E. MAN) to stop destroying their home.

I like it because it sounds and feels like a real story and not text with an academi
...more
Jen
This is a beautiful story about a man who is sent to the Amazon rain forest to chop down a Kapok tree and the animals that depend on the tree who speak to the man while he's sleeping. We are starting a big rain forest unit in our elementary and this was the prefect book to kick this off with.
Amy Schmitz
A man travels into the Amazon rain forest on a mission to chop down a great Kapok tree. This task exhausts him and he decides to take a nap. While the man is sleeping the animals who need the tree for survival whisper in his ear a reason to stop chopping down the Kapok tree. A young child is the last to whisper in the man's ear and he says, “Senhor, when you awake, please look upon us all with new eyes.” When the man awakes he does what the child told him and leaves the rain forest without the K ...more
Amber
I was introduced to this book in my fine arts class by a student. I loved the illustrations and the meaning behind the book. Awareness needs to be raised about the importance of keeping the rain forest just as this man found out during his dream. The rain forest is used for so many animals and I think children would enjoy reading about all the animals that are mentioned since they are native to South America. I would present this book during an awareness week or when discussing South America in ...more
Ms Threlkeld
This book is rich with information about rainforest animals but manages to still feel like a story instead of informational text. The illustrations are colorful and I learned about animals I'd never heard of before.
Jill
Beautifully illustrated book to teach people about the need to protect the rainforests. The animals in the Amazon Rainforest each speak to a sleeping man who has come to cut down the Kapok Tree.
Ainsley H-m
Used as story book to support rainforest ipc topic.
It inspired a lot of great geography work on deforestation and also the animals of the rainforest. Illustrations are brilliant as well.
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