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A Tree Is Nice
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A Tree Is Nice

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  3,054 ratings  ·  265 reviews

"Trees are very nice," says Janice May Udry in her first book for children. She goes on to explain that even one tree is nice, if it is the only one you happen to have.

Some of the reasons why trees are so good to have around are funny. Some are indisputable facts. But in all of them there is a sense of poetic simplicity and beauty which will be sure to entrance any young c

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Paperback, 32 pages
Published June 26th 1987 by HarperCollins (first published March 14th 1956)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyThe Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Caldecott Medal Winners
52nd out of 78 books — 315 voters
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry PinkneyMadeline by Ludwig BemelmansWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakFlotsam by David WiesnerMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
List for #nerdcott
78th out of 335 books — 34 voters


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Community Reviews

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Kathryn
I thought A Tree Is Nice was... nice. It's a simple, gentle little book showing various types of trees and the ways in which they enrich our lives (for example, apple trees give apples, big trees can be fun for climbing, or give shade). At the end, readers are encouraged to plant a tree. It's a "green" book before that sort of thing was in vogue. Simont's illustrations, while not enough to get me overly enthusiastic, pair very well with the simple text. It's nice to see a variety of trees portra ...more
Barbara
Not only do I love the wonderful shades of green and the fall foliage that fill this book, but I appreciate its message reminding readers of the wonders of trees. Double-page spreads bursting with color alternate with simpler line drawings using black, white, and gray, allowing readers' senses to be stimulated when they turn the pages and find the color-filled ones. The simple text describes many of the merits of trees, filling the sky, providing shade, sheltering houses from the wind, and offer ...more
Catherine Kirk
This book teaches about the concept of trees by telling all of the things a tree is good for. For example, they “fill up the sky” and “make everything beautiful”. Some of the uses of a tree are important (it “keeps the wind from blowing the roof off the house sometimes”) while others aren’t as vital (“It is a good place to lean your hoe while you rest”).

Half of the pages in this book are illustrated in color and the others are done in black and white. The painted pictures are simple and follow t
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Carlos Gastelum
Udry, J., M. (1956) A tree is nice. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

A Tree is Nice is a wonderful picture book that deals with trees and nature. Although many people don’t realize the importance of trees, the story describes several ways trees can be used. For example to hang your swing set on. If you’re into the great outdoors you will like the illustrations in the book because they set you in the perfect natural environment. As you glance at each page you eventually realize that a tree can serve
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David
A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry, illustrated by Marc Simont is an early pean to nature and environmentalism. It was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1957.

In simple prose, Udry gives funny, odd and true reasons why trees are nice. It has a child-based logic that works well.

The illustrations alternate btween color, and black and white. The paintings have a simple child-like quality that is quite appealling. I particularly enjoy the first one before the title page, the two of forests, and the Autum
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Kim
This book is essentially a list of reasons that trees are nice. That doesn't sound very effective, but I thought the book was wonderful! The illustrations are so cute and the reasons that a tree is nice actually sound like reasons a kid would come up with. I finished the book and thought, "You know what? A tree IS nice!" and then I missed summer even more than I already do. Sigh.

Anyway. This is cute. Check it out.
Cathy Outten
I love trees, and that is all that this book is about. Literally, trees are nice, and all the reasons they are nice. I fully agree with all of the reasons and I love the pictures of kids and the trees, under them, on them, sleeping in the shade. I prefer the color pictures over the black and white, but, it was 1956... so hey.
Natalie Zagara
A Tree is Nice is a simple story with a big message about the value of a tree. Janice May Udry points out the benefits and beauty of a tree as she tells tales that many children and adults can relate to. Any person can relate to their "connections to trees" in this story. We all have our memories of trees. She connects both people and animals to the reasons "A Tree is Nice". I loved the detailed pictures, dawn of color on some pages and the black and white sketches, on other pages. It gave light ...more
Judy
Nov 11, 2011 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids, tree lovers
I have always had a deep reverence for trees. I might never have made it through The Lord of the Rings trilogy if it hadn't been for the trees. I certainly would not have made it through life.

Janice May Udry's picture book won the Caldecott Medal in 1957 for the illustrations by Marc Simont. That is a good thing because otherwise I might never have read it. Her title fairly well sums up the truth about trees.

After providing dozens of reasons why a tree is nice, the book ends with how to plant
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Eva Leger
Well, trees are nice everyone. I guess I learned that trees are good. I also learned that anyone can write just about anything any old way and if they're lucky, they'll win an award. I learned it has nothing - absolutely nothing - to do with the actual story.
I think I'll write a book too. I've finally decided. It's going to be about poop. Yes, that's right. Poop. How poop is stinky, how it's made, how it's delivered, the different colors of poop, the non-glory of all things poopy, all those not
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Melanie
This was a disappointing read with my daughter today. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I am a huge fan of trees, so I had huge hopes for this book. However, the story was severely lacking. The sentence structure and word choice was awkward to read out loud. The only trees discussed were deciduous trees, which are not as prevalent in our part of the country, so we couldn't relate to a good portion of the book. Perhaps if we lived on the east coast I would feel differently, but it was still an awk ...more
Brittany
An Ode to Trees

"This ode to trees is simply written and beautifully illustrated, half in color and half in black and white. The language is, at first glance, deceptively simple, but it is exactly the spare nature of the language that makes the book and the art so eloquent, with phrases such as 'Trees are beautiful. They fill up the sky' and 'A tree is good to have around. A tree is nice," (Davis, 2013).

Genre: General Nonfiction/Realistic Fiction (Contemporary Stories) (Tompkins, 2014).

The stor
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Tory Haberman
A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry and pictures by Marc Simont, is all about trees and how they contribute to the world around us. For instance, the book first starts off with where trees are located and what trees are made of. This varies from river banks to hills, to their leaves and what they bear. Then, the book goes on to describe how trees are useful to animals and people and how they bring enjoyment to children. As this trend continues, the main reasoning behind the book is to show the bea ...more
Grace Bradley
This story is very simple, yet so educational. It can teach children so much about trees and how they change throughout the seasons. The story takes you through a series of functions that tree brings to life such as shade, fruit, and climbing. It talks about how other animals can utilize the tree as well like a bird that builds a nest or a cat that climbs the tree to get away from a dog. This story can also teach children what it is like to plant a tree and the importance that plants bring to li ...more
Aidan
This story is about how trees provide people with many things. For example, leaves provide shade, allow for playing when the leaves fall, trunks for swinging, and apples for eating. The tree has created so many memories for the character and is so positive about how trees can provide for you, he encourages others to plant their own trees. The illustrations in “A Tree is Nice”, alternate pages of colored and of black and white. Using watercolors and markers, the pictures are simple, and take up t ...more
Caty Carino
Written by Janice Udry and illustrated by Marc Simont, this book demonstrates a fun way of explaining and teaching methods for kids. Instead of the story being lead by words, this story is told more through the pictures. The tone of the book is alluring and sincere; however each page alternates from being in color to black and white, which puts a different dynamic on the story. The alternating color pattern helps the reader reflect on how much trees do for us here on Earth. After reading the sto ...more
Tanya
I guess I expected more from this Caldecott winner. It is pretty bland honestly. It lists how trees are wonderful, how they shade people and animals, how they protect structures and that people can plant trees.

The pages alternate color and black/white drawings, and are nice. The sentence structure is extremely bland, reading like an easy reader for a young child. The shape of the book is interesting being tall and narrow like a tree, which we can point out to the children and talk about that as
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Sami Wilson
I liked how the author used a mixture of black and white pictures as well as colored pictures. I think that this gave the story a different feel. I enjoyed all of the different ways they incorporated the tree into all sorts of activities. This book had a lot of wonderful examples of how trees are more than just beneficial to our environment. I thought that this was a perfect book to read while sitting underneath a tree. This book also would be good to help get children outside for example laying ...more
Elle Harris
This story is all about the different reasons why trees are beneficial to us. A few of the reasons trees are good according to this book are for shade, climbing, apple picking, and it even says cats can hide from dogs in the tree. This book is a good example of how a simple lesson about the benefits of trees can be taught in a creative and entertaining way. Instead of writing about everything a tree does, this book illustrates it in a fun and silly way, which can keep kids engaged. This book sur ...more
Emma Hendrickson
The story, A Tree Is Nice, is a mix of books that I am use to reading. Most stories that I have read have been illustrated with only black and white, or colored. This book was a mix of both colored and black and white pictures, which made it enjoyable and exciting. This book was extremely fun to follow because of the pattern of black and white and then colored illustrations. Also, the pictures showed how much trees do for us on the earth. The words were easy to read, which makes the book great f ...more
Madeline Isaak
The story, A Tree Is Nice, is a mix of books that I am use to reading. Most stories that I have read have been illustrated with only black and white, or colored. This book was a mix of both colored and black and white pictures, which made it enjoyable and exciting. This book was extremely fun to follow because of the pattern of black and white and then colored illustrations. Also, the pictures showed how much trees do for us on the earth. The words were easy to read, which makes the book great f ...more
David Korsak
This book is about trees and yes trees can be boring, but to my surprise this book makes these trees fun and interesting. The author starts off describing were trees are located and what make trees so important to our planet. This book lets people go into another world where the aren't any distractions, just you and the beautiful out doors. The book talks about how kids can enjoy leaves and why leaves come off in the fall season. This book allows nature to get a voice in the classroom and let th ...more
Cheyenne Cortesi
In this story, the author describes the importance of trees. Not only does one get to understand how trees can be important but also how trees change with the seasons. For example, the book describes how trees provide shade, they keep houses cool, and they protect houses from wind, etc. In other parts of the book, it says that trees have leaves and during the fall they fall out. At the end of the book, it encourages the reader to plant a tree to inspire others to do the same. The illustrations ...more
Adam Donald
This story is not so much a story, but a list. It is a list of all the ways that trees are good things. It has several activities for the reader to do, all involving nature and care for trees and plants. There is no set storyline and no consistent characters but it is still a good book. The book had an alternating style of illustration. Every other page was in black and white while the other pages were all in color. I believe that this was to show how much more beautiful the world can be with th ...more
Jamie Singer
This book talks about where trees are located and what is great about them. It makes people appreciate nature. It talks about what we do with leaves, like in fall we play with them by climbing, or jump in the pile. It talks about how cats get away from dogs, or how we hang a tree from them, or even get food from it. Children do not always recognize all of the important of trees. The drawings remind me of the jungle book. The drawings start with black and white, and then the next page has color t ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Who can argue with the title of this book? Not me! I love this Caldecott winner with its fun pictures kids jumping into piles of leaves, cats escaping from dogs into trees, and of a tree swarming with kids, doing everything from playing pirate to taking a nap. I love this book's simplicity and quiet humor.
Jessica Navarrete
While reading this story I became very bored. There wasn’t much of a plot or a variation of characters. It was basically a tribute to trees around us, and the many things they provide for our living. For example, the leaves fall off the tree during the fall allowing them to be used for bonfires. They can also be climbed to over-look yards. Trees also give us fruit and it provides a home for animals like birds and squirrels. They provide shade for picnics and are a stable area to put a swing on. ...more
Matthew West
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah
As a hater of the word "nice" I welcome this slim simple volume as a way to show children how to elaborate to add real meaning to that oft-overused word. Why is a tree "nice"? Udry gives dozens of reasons, and Simont's accompanying watercolors have a clean natural look to fit the topic.
Julie
Nice is a word I learned to avoid. It's an emotionally flat word in my world. It's not good or bad, wonderful or terrible, just nice. It's understated and reminds me of bland white pudding. A tree is so many things it seems awful to relegate it to just nice! Now I've got that out of my system, let's talk about this book. The prose is simple. You just need to add your imagination. I read, "The leaves whisper in the breeze all summer long", and I was right there, lounging with a book in the wonder ...more
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Janice May Udry is an American author. She was born in Jacksonville, Illinois and graduated from Northwestern University in 1950. Her first book, A Tree is Nice, was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1957 for Marc Simont's illustrations. Her papers are held at the University of Southern Mississippi.
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