Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha's Vineyard by Amy MacDougall

Good Day dear Readers
Today I'm enjoying this beautiful summer day sitting beneath a shady tree, a lemonade in my royal hand and a dragon reading over my shoulder.

I love that The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha's Vineyard is a real tree that has stood through history and thrives even today. This might be considered a fictional book, but the story is based on real events. Which, leads to several activities which will require some historical research.

Happy Reading,
The Queen


Book Title: The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha's Vineyard
Author: Amy MacDougall                                                                    Illustrator: Nicole Gsell

Book Information:

Publisher and date: Lychee Books (May 10, 2013)
Reading level: Pre-k and up
Book Info: Paperback: 34 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
ISBN: 978-0989162302

Book Theme:
History, Pagoda trees, Thomas Milton, Martha's Vineyard

Book Summary
The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha's Vineyard illustrates the history of the famous tree from Edgartown, MA for which the book is named. It is affectionately told by a mother to her daughter, about the life of a tree-its journey-from a little sapling in the Orient to its home in Martha's Vineyard in the USA. It adresses two people who lived far apart on a shared Earth many years ago, yet formed a friendship which the Pagoda tree symbolizes and celebrates to this day!

Activity Adventures:

Pick one of the events in history and learn more about it.

Study plant growth, possibly growing your own tree. Enchanted Learning has several plant activities.

Crafty Ideas:
Make a tree from your hand. On a large sheet of construction paper, paint your arm, palm and fingers brown. Press onto paper, leaving a trunk and limbs imprint. Use your thumb and fingers to paint in green leaves.

As an added bonus: Think about your own history. At the roots, write the day you were born. Moving up the tree, list important events you've experienced over your life. In the limbs, write names of family members and even friends. Make the tree a document of your own life.

Writing Prompts:
Tell a story from the tree's point of view. Using the book, write a description of when the tree first noticed lights inside of houses, or planes flying over head. How do you think a tree would view our history?
Write a story about your ideas.

Discussion Questions:
Read the story behind the book here. Talk about your thoughts on how the author came up with this story idea.

Authors Arena

Author: I could find little information about the author Amy MacDougall, but did find her blog. Hop over there for the story behind the story, and perhaps some other interesting things.

Nicole Gsell is a recent graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, with a Bachelors of Fine Arts, Illustration and a Concentration in English.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Nicole moved to Boston, MA in the Fall of 2010 to pursue a career in publishing. She has had much luck, and currently is the Creative Director for an independent children’s book company Pinwheel Books in Brookline, MA.
She also teaches children’s art classes at Brookline Arts Center. View her teaching profile here or check out some of her student’s work.
Nicole has illustrated her first book through Pinwheel Books called Sam and Ben, available now online and in local bookstore Brookline Booksmith. She’s working on her next book projects now!
When she’s not illustrating children’s books, she loves visiting diners, knitting, cooking, and writing all about it.

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