February 12, 2021

The Nut That Fell from the Tree

Written by Sangeeta Bhadra
Illustrated by France Cormier
Kids Can Press
978-1-5253-0119-3
32 pp.
Ages 3-7
September 2020

For a repeating pattern book with a lesson in the interrelationships of living things and an oak tree's life cycle, The Nut That Fell from the Tree has it all with a round of fun too!

From The Nut That Fell from the Tree by Sangeeta Bhadra, illus. by France Cormier

It all starts with a tree house in an oak tree where Jill plays. From the oak tree falls an acorn that is stolen by a rat. Next the nut is taken by a blue jay, a goose, a raccoon, a doe with her fawn, a bear and a skunk before it falls into the water and is retrieved by a beaver before being buried in the ground by a squirrel to germinate and grow.
From The Nut That Fell from the Tree by Sangeeta Bhadra, illus. by France Cormier

Years later that little acorn has grown into a mighty oak that holds the house where Jack plays in the yard of the elderly Jill who still dons her red cape for play.
From The Nut That Fell from the Tree by Sangeeta Bhadra, illus. by France Cormier

Kids love a repeating pattern book like The Nut That Fell from the Tree (that reads very much like The House That Jack Built) because even if they can't read, they can anticipate the repeating lines, like...
This is the doe with her fawn (peek-a-boo)
that surprised the raccoon (a sneak through and through)
that tricked the goose with a bird's-eye view
that ruffled the jay with feathers of blue
that swooped in on the rat looking out from a shoe
that stole the nut
that fell from the oak
that holds the house where Jill plays.
They'll be sitting on the edges of their seats knowing that something different will happen on each new page but never knowing what until it happens. Sangeeta Bhadra gets the rhythm right, with some rhyming too, and carries messages of the richness of an ecosystem of land and water and living things with the wonder of a nut growing into a tree.
This is the squirrel
that buried the nut
that lay on the hill
that shone in the light
that came from the sun.
In fact, Sangeeta Bhadra changes the pattern from the acorn being passed around to the nut beginning its own cycle, life cycle that is, so effortlessly that it flows right back to the beginning, with an inter-generational link to make it come full circle.

That flow is carried by the artwork of France Cormier who has illustrated many children's books, including many French-language picture books. Though I have never had the pleasure of reviewing one of her books, I hope this review changes that and gets young readers looking for her artwork. Here her digitally rendered art has the playful feel that is needed to carry the patterns of Sangeeta Bhadra's words, pulling the text forward and around with her snappy scenes of plants and animals interacting in vibrant panoramas.
From The Nut That Fell from the Tree by Sangeeta Bhadra, illus. by France Cormier
What is The Nut That Fell from the Tree?
It's the book
that will be purchased by the adult
that will be enjoyed by the child 
that will be shared with a friend
that will be read aloud
that will teach STEM with charm
that melds rhythm with art
that comes full circle to
The Nut That Fell from the Tree.

No comments:

Post a comment