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This inventive picture book relays the events of two hundred years from the unique perspective of a magnificent oak tree, showing how much the world can transform from a single vantage point. From 1775 to the present day, this fascinating framing device lets readers watch as human and animal populations shift and the landscape transitions from country to city. Methods of transportation, communication and energy use progress rapidly while other things hardly seem to change at all.
This engaging, eye-opening window into history is perfect for budding historians and nature enthusiasts alike, and the time-lapse quality of the detail-packed illustrations will draw readers in as they pore over each spread to spot the changes that come with each new era. A fact-filled poster is included to add to the fun.
About the Author
G. Brian Karas (www.gbriankaras.com) is the popular author and illustrator of numerous picture books, including On Earth and Atlantic (both ALA Notable Books). He lives in New York's Hudson Valley.
“Engaging tale of transformation and constancy. . . . [Invites] comparisons between elements in each spread and their more modern counterparts that follow. . . . A rapidly modernizing society, the resultant impact on the environment, and the constant, observant presence of nature are themes readers can start to grasp with this book. More simply, it’s a charming cycle-of-life story and an engaging chronicle of American urban history.” — Publishers Weekly
“Engaging. . . . Karas’s straightforward narration is informative and reflective. Detailed watercolor illustrations dramatically show the landscape evolving from rural to urban over time. . . . This fascinating time capsule will spark nature and history discussions.” — School Library Journal
“Clear and simple look at over two centuries of change in a single landscape. . . . Karas avoids editorializing. . . . Art has a friendly, intimate quality. . . . This will invite repeat visits.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Illustrations allow readers to see how generations alter the landscape . . . and variations in farming practices as well as the development of differing modes of transportation.” — The Horn Book
“The sweep of Karas’ pencil and gouache full-bleed spreads has all the majesty of good landscape, with the stately tree firmly rooted in the center of every scene, but his homey and accessible draftsmanship keeps the details human as well as intricate. . . . The hilltop prospect provides a particularly fine vista, and audiences will appreciate the small dramas and subtle alterations as well as the significant changes. If you’re near any large trees, this could spark your own local trip through history.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books