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The Birthday Tree

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Planting a birthday tree has enduring effects in this poignant tale of a roving boy’s link to nature — and the roots of his family’s love.

When baby Jack arrives, his father and mother plant an apple seedling to honor his birth. As Jack grows taller, so does the tree. When Jack is happy, the tree limbs stand straight and proud. When he is cold, the leaves tremble on their s...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Candlewick Press (first published 1979)
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Children's Books about Birthdays
41st out of 101 books — 6 voters
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Picture Books About Trees
97th out of 108 books — 7 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jan
A Sailor and his wife loses everything to the sea and decides to move where they can't hear, see, or smell the sea. The settle in a little valley and start a new life. When baby Jack arrives, his father and mother plant an apple seedling in honor of his birth. As Jack grows up the tree mirrors Jack's actions and emotions. When Jack leaves home and goes to sea, the parents watch the tree for signs about Jack's well-being and await his return home.

The original story published in 1979 was illustrat...more
Tacey
I loved this book, but it can get mushy. I wish I would have planted trees at the births of my children.

I am not sure if the ending works. Is it too abrupt?
Shelli
This was an interesting picture book about a sailor and his wife who are devastated after loosing their three suns to the dangerous ocean currants. This young couple travels until they can no longer see, smell or hear the ocean before they begin to rebuild their life anew. Some time later they are blessed with another son that has a strange connection to a tree in their yard. An odd fictional story, but I enjoyed reading it.
Nicole
This is a different book. The family plants a tree for their son when he is a baby. The tree and the son soon have the same feelings and the boy then goes away to sea. The parents watch the tree for the sign of his return. I think the idea is interesting, but I didn't really like this book.
Caitlin Barclay
This story gives the reader a feeling of a fairytale or folktale. The author uses the tree as a metaphor for the main characters' son. Teachers can use this story to teach the parts of a story.
Kim
Sad and sweet, not one to be forgotten. (Happy ending.) Kids' book but somewhat adult themes of loss.
Finny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle
Such a lovely fable.
Joss
Joss marked it as to-read
Feb 10, 2014
Jayci
Jayci marked it as to-read
Sep 08, 2013
Lindi Kueckelhan
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Jan 28, 2013
Tiffiny
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Oct 09, 2012
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Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California. The son of well-known children's novelist Sid Fleischman, Paul was in the unique position of having his famous father's books read out loud to him by the author as they were being written. This experience continued throughout his childhood.
Paul followed in his father's footsteps as an author of books for young readers, and in 1982 he released...more
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