Monday, November 06, 2006

A Grand Old Tree

A Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell Depalma.

Once there was a grand old tree, whose roots sank deep into the earth and whose arms reached high into the sky. Every spring the grand old tree flowered and bore cherries for the squirrels and birds that made their homes in her leafy branches. And every year, seeds from the tree scattered in the wind, along with many millions of leaves. And lots of baby trees are grow when that happens.

Over the years, she basks in the sun, bathes in the rain, sways in the breeze and dances in the wind until she can sway and dance no more. Soon she becomes very very old. Her branches no longer swayed and danced. Her branches crumble and finally she fells and snow gently covered her. The tree dies. The dead tree continues to provide shelter to for its a house for raccoons and centipedes. But eventually it disintegrates into the soil enriching the soil.

Then they show how the baby trees, "the grand children of the Grand Old Tree grow into strong tall trees and how they then become all that the Grand Old Tree was and how its all a cycle. A cycle of life.

I read this book to Alysha last night. Its truely a great book. She had so many questions about it. This is the first time I read the word "die" from a book. And I paused. She just stared at me and looked a bit sad.

I know she has heard the word die before and I have mentioned how someone had died. I ahve explained to her that it basically means that the person goes back to Allah for good because that's where we all came from. She had once mentioned to me, she does not want to go back. She likes it here.

A smile appeared back on her face when the baby tree grows. She was so happy that it was not the end of the tree. I don't know what else was running on her mind but this is a great book to just introduce the concept of the cycle of life to children. I didn't want to push the discussion too much and just answered all her questions as best as I could. I bet we will continue to have a discussion over it when I read it to her again.

Great book! Loved it.


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