Happy Earth Day!
Today I am sharing one of my favorite books from when I taught third grade. I just shared it with my son the other night. Because both The Great Kapok Tree and The Lorax revolve around respecting the earth and the trees, we were able to make many connections between the books as we read.
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry takes place in the Amazon Rain Forest. It is the story of a man who goes into the rain forest to cut down a Kapok tree. He starts his job, but then falls asleep under the tree. While he is asleep, all of the animals who live in the tree and the rain forest visit him. They ask him to reconsider cutting down the tree. A group of monkeys, plenty of birds, a jaguar, and a boa constrictor all try to convince the man to leave the tree alone. Each animal has a different explanation of why the tree is so important. When the man wakes up he sees all of the animals, a child, and the beautiful rain forest. He drops his ax and walks away.
This was a long book for my kindergartner to listen to, but he did and he seemed to be deep in thought as he listened. He enjoyed the pictures and looked for many "hidden" animals in each illustration. While we were reading we kept predicting if the man was going to cut down the tree. My son was so proud that his prediction was correct.
The illustrations in this book are beautiful and there is so much that can be done with this book in terms of a rain forest study. Although, there is much to expand on after reading this book, my kindergartner and I just enjoyed reading it and talked about how important trees are to humans, animals, and the planet. The Great Kapok Tree is a great lesson in respect for our planet's resources.