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A Tree Is Nice

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  5,454 ratings  ·  491 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, First Harper Trophy Edition, 32 pages
Published July 16th 1987 by Harper & Row (first published March 14th 1956)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,454 ratings  ·  491 reviews


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Calista
This is and Ode to Trees or a Love letter to trees. It is a simple story with beautiful artwork. The simplicity is simply, look how wonderful trees are. Have you noticed everything they do in our world? Have you napped under one? It really is a lovely book about trees. This was decades before the environmental movement - simply someone who had an appreciation for trees.

I love trees. To me, they carry the sacred in them. This book touched me deeply. It is not comprehensive, but it for a kid to d
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Gerry
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps rather parochially my favourite tree in the whole world is an oak tree aged a few hundred years that lives at the entrance to my daughter's property. And I have always had an interest in trees from a young age, particularly from my teenage years when my wife to be and myself used to picnic at Kew Gardens in London.

So when I saw 'A Tree Is Nice' I just had to own it! The illustrations by Marc Simont are particularly fetching and the story, while simplicity itself, gives a great understand
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Cheryl
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reread just cuz. And here's my old review:

"I'm not sure a child would pick it up herself... I recall this being on a shelf somewhere when I was a child, but I don't recall reading it.

But if a parent or teacher shares the book with a child, I think it'd still be very relevant. The kids, their homes, even their activities don't seem dated to me. There's even a true tomboy, a girl dressed up like a pirate, in one tree.

I think it'd be great to have kids do a writing exercise inspired by this. A rive
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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
Anna Flowers
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Growing up in East Texas I’ve always had a love for trees. I’m used to driving down old roads with skyscraper-tall pine trees whisping by. Either side packed tight with trees that, “fill up the sky”. When I first laid eyes on A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry I immediately thought about my favorite childhood book called The Giving Tree my link text by Shel Silverstein. I remember reading the tender story about a tree’s bond with a little boy over and over again. There is something sweet and comf ...more
Ms. B
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, picture, caldecott
A good book about the importance of trees! You may want to plant a tree after reading this classic! This would also be a good book for Arbor Day. Or pair it with The Lorax<\> for Earth Day.
Laura
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
1957 Caldecott Medal Winner
3.5 Stars
Jennifer
I love trees! My father taught me to love trees, to respect them, to revere them. When I see a tree cut down, I feel a physical pain. When I saw this book it was a poem for my soul. Yes, "Trees are very nice." ...more
Sarah Nelson
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I keep musing about writing a picture book about trees, but can't imagine how I might write a tree book that is any more perfect and satisfying that this 1957 Caldecott winner. The simple language seems at first almost too simple, but one quickly feels the lulling cadence of the perfectly childlike language. "A tree is nice because it has a trunk and limbs. We can climb the tree and see over all the yards. We can sit on a limb and think about things. Or play pirate ship up in the tree . . ." Thi ...more
Kirah Marshall
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-summaries
1. This book is about the practical pleasures trees have to offer us. It says like the title suggests trees are nice. They provide protection from hard winds, shed their leaves so we can play in them, provide branches to climb, and can offer us apples (if an apple tree). It shows readers that trees are beautiful as well. By the end of the book the narrator tells us it is fun to plant trees and watch them grow over the years. Another benefit mentioned is you get to tell people "I planted that tre ...more
Aly Gutierrez
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*Book summary
-This is a fun story that explains the purpose and usefulness of trees. Trees are fun and useful for everyone including animals. Trees can be used during any season, and are important to have around. Teaches children to love trees and cherish them.

*Caldecott Medal

*Grade level, interest level, Lexile
-K-2

*Appropriate classroom use (subject area)
-Teaching about recycling or the environment.

*Individual students who might benefit from reading
-Students that are interested in the outdo
...more
Carlos Gastelum
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
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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Julie
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
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
Judy
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
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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Natalie Zagara
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Eva Marie
Jun 19, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: julias-books
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
...more
Melanie
Jul 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Kimberly
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
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Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
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. ...more
Cathy
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dianna
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
A long list of things that trees are good for. I had to read it after reading about it so much in Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom. ...more
Sarah
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Colby Sharp
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not sure why, but I'm in love with this book. Took me back to my childhood. ...more
momma.hailey
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
A sweet story, particularly for 4 years and younger, although we all enjoyed the simple story.
Celeste Pine
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Trees are very nice. They fill up the sky." I could see my love for trees makes perfect sense. ...more
Mary
This timeless classic is a love letter to trees. A lovely picture book to include in preschool nature units.
Maddison Thomason
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: exam-1
A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry and illustrated by Marc Simont is a Caldecott Award winner. This book goes through different functions of a tree, as well as why it is so important. For this reason, it would be a great book to read to a science class outside on a sunny day. Trees are something that people of all ages take for granted and this activity would be a way to remind young and beginning readers the importance of trees. This books seems to have pen and watercolor, used in an impressioni ...more
Hannah Buys
A Tree is Nice does not really have a plot line; rather than telling a story, it explains many of the purposes that trees serve and what trees can do. One example that the book provides is how the leaves of trees provide us shade when it is hot outside. The illustrations are beautiful and alternate between being in color and being in black and white. While I do not really understand why the illustrator chooses to do this, it does make the colored illustrations stand out. This book would be usefu ...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. ...more

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