Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tanglewood by Margaret Wild illustrated by Vivienne Goodman

I started my review of this CBCA Short listed book by looking at the subject headings assigned by the National Library here in Australia for Tanglewood.  My labels are quite different.  They have put Families, Fellowship and Trees.  Well at least we agree this is a book about trees or more specifically about one tree growing on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean.

One reviewer wrote :

This beautifully illustrated story does indeed discuss living and dying, loneliness, time and family, bravery and commitment, hope and determination

The text in this book seems very simple with the story of a tree on an island that is visited by a lone seagull but the message is profound.  The tree experiences a whole range of emotions which I think older children will certainly relate to.  The illustrations superb.  Moving from whole page to small boxes - square and rectangular they echo the emotions expressed by Margaret Wild. For example on the page :  "But nobody ever came."  there is a single white cloud in a huge sky of blue.

I am predicting this book will receive a prize in the CBCA awards but as you know I loved Herman and Rosie and I think The Coat is a special and important book and I am in awe of the work by Jackie French in A day to Remember so we will have to wait and see.

I am excited to read this book right across our school and it will be interesting to hear the reactions of the youngest children and compare these with the older students.  We will also look at other books about trees including The Great Kapok tree, A bear and a tree, and The Giving tree.  We might also look at some books about islands and spend a little time with Jonathon Livingston Seagull.

Here is a set of teaching notes.  Here is a short review.  In this blog a teacher shares his lesson content using Tanglewood.

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