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Tree in the Trail

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  588 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The history of the Great Plains and the Santa Fe Trail is told in text and pictures by focusing on a cottonwood tree and the events that happen around it.
Paperback, 64 pages
Published April 30th 1990 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1942)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,067)
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Jul 16, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it
This was one of our geography books for my second grader this past year (see Ambleside Online 2nd grade curriculum). We loved reading one chapter a week but near the end we didn't want to stop and finished reading it all at once.

The illustrations are beautifully detailed with colors true to the colors of the Santa Fe trail.

I am grateful Holling C. Holling was a storyteller in this tale of history. Facts alone don't stick - they need relatable and enjoyable context. Mr. Holling is an expert at t
Mar 26, 2009 Shannon rated it it was amazing
When my son was 9, he was willing to sit and let me read this entire book to him. He enjoyed the historical walk along the Santa Fe Trail. When he was 10 he was no longer interested--too many words, not tantalizing enough.

I enjoyed reading it, but catch your kids at the right time if you want them to enjoy it.
Oct 11, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
The book begins with a Cottonwood tree springing up atop a butte along the Santa Fe trail in the desert, an unlikely location, and growing under the protection of a Native American boy. It began to drag in the middle because it lost the human element of compelling characters we could care about, and I thought we wouldn't enjoy it as much as we did Holling's other book, Paddle to the Sea. However, once Jed and Buck, two frontiersmen, found the tree, the story picked up. The Cottonwood died, and J ...more
May 07, 2013 Pam rated it it was ok
I understand why this book is considered to be a classic and why it has nearly a cult following, however having been written in 1942, it is extremely dated both in writing style and illustrations which will result in very few of today's children being interested in reading it. Holling Clancy Holling interestingly used a cottonwood tree to illustrate and follow the course of history along the Santa Fe trail from the times of the Indians to the westward expansion of the US. The story, like many ot ...more
Michael Loder
Aug 25, 2013 Michael Loder rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: American history buffs
Holling produced a unique volume of work for children, all illustrated meticulously by himself and his wife, Lucille. This is the first one I read and I loved it as a child and enjoy and respect it as an adult.
A cottonwood tree cannot move from where it spouts, so, in this story, the world comes to the tree. As it grows and mature, a history rolls by from flint-arrow-shooting Indians without horses, to horse-proud Commanches, to Spanish soldiers to finally American wagoners bent on trade in San
Jun 09, 2015 Krissy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: caleb
I actually loved this book. The pictures helped tell the story of a tree that saw history. ~ Caleb
Mandi Ellsworth
I tried explaining what this book was about to my husband and he said, "It's about the adventures of a tree?"

Holling C.Holling (Love his name!) is a master at taking an inanimate object and imbuing it with historical interest and surrounding it with relevance. I read this with my kids, as it's technically a picture book. This cottonwood tree is witness to a couple hundred years of American history and even travels the Santa Fe Trail as an Ox yolk. For a good, interesting, history lesson, comple
Tree in the Trail 10102009 by Holling Clancy Holling
Sandy Brehl
This book, originally published 70 years ago, stands the test of time as a remarkable picture book resource for exploring western history, from the time prior to expansion through several centuries of history. The left page text-B/W-supplementary illustrations-details format throughout contrasts to the right side-full page-artistic illustration of a typical event described in the text. Individual stories across time interconnect in several ways.
Apr 20, 2016 Lmichelleb rated it liked it
A solid story to teach my children about the Santa Fe Trail, as well as Indian/American trade and relations. I'm sure we got more out of it than I'm remembering now, but it didn't grab us quite the same as Paddle-to-the-Sea.
May 16, 2011 Amber rated it liked it
Shelves: school, sy10-11
Another lovely book by Holling C Holling. It wasn't quite as endearing as some of his books we have read in the past but it was sweet nonetheless. And we enjoyed the geography and history of the Santa Fe trail.
Aug 07, 2010 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, children-s, 2010
I loved Holling's books as a kid. While sorting through my books one day, I found this and read it in half an hour. It's a nice way to present a little history and natural science. The illustrations are great too.
This book takes an interesting perspective of the life of a tree, from its beginning, the people and groups that live nearby and pass through. Very interesting and beautiful illustrations.
Jan 07, 2013 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: geography
What can be better than history and geography in story form? We read this as part of Beautiful Feet Geography and enjoyed the adventures surrounding the life of this tree.
Wendy Hollister
Sep 13, 2010 Wendy Hollister rated it it was ok
A children's book which is not nearly as good as Paddle to the Sea.
Sep 18, 2012 Silas rated it liked it
This one was a little boring near the end.
Elaine Lortz
Jul 11, 2011 Elaine Lortz rated it did not like it
Shelves: judah-s-reads
Judah didn't like the story at all.
Sep 07, 2013 Nathalie rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
strange, but pretty pictures
May 25, 2016 Lifeisgreyt rated it really liked it
Did not complete
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Born in Jackson County, Michigan, in 1900, Holling Clancy Holling graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1923. He then worked in a taxidermy department of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and spent time working in anthropology under Dr. Ralph Linton.

During this period, he married Lucille Webster, and within a year of their marriage accepted a position as art instructor on th
More about Holling Clancy Holling...

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