Bibliographic Data:
Reading level: Ages 4 to 8
Hardcover: 30
Publisher: Harper Trophy
Language: English

Author Biography:
Janice May Udry was born in Jacksonville, Illinois in 1928. Udry graduated from Northwestern University in 1950 and “A tree is nice” was her first book. Udry’s has published 4 other books including: “Lets be Enemies” “Thump and Plunk” “ Un Arbol Es Hermoso/ a tree is nice” and “What Mary Jo Shared”

“A Tree Is Nice” was written by Janice May Udry and illustrated by Marc Simont. This story is about trees, Trees are nice for many reasons not only their contribution to the environment. This story explains where trees are, how trees change in the seasons, trees are good for climbing, jumping in leaves can be fun, picking apples, swinging on trees, the shade from the trees, using the trees shade to have a picnic or take a nap and that planting trees is important. This book not only addresses the useful and important elements of trees but also the fun things about trees “ Cats get away from dogs by going up the tree. Birds build nests in the trees and live there. Sticks come off the trees too. We draw in the sand with the sticks.”
I chose this book because it is important for children to understand why the environment is important to care for. This story addresses the practical and the fun uses of trees. This book incorporates a lot into a short story. My favorite part of the book is the end where the author points out that you can plant a tree and watch it grow. I can remember as a kid planting a tree in a small pot in school and bringing it home to plant in my yard. With the demolition of trees and over development of neighborhoods in recent years it is important to remind children how important the woods and trees are in the environment. The size of the book is unique because it is an elongated shape that reminds you of a tall tree. It accentuates the colorful watercolor-like pictures the book contains.

Analysis of Literary Element (Theme and Setting):
I would use “A Tree Is Nice” in my classroom to discuss the literary elements theme and setting. In discussing theme I would use this book to illustrate the impact humans have on the environment. I would use this book to help demonstrate how important it is to care for the environment. It would also be important to discuss setting. In discussing setting I would use this book to talk about how trees change in the different seasons. I would teach my class why it is that leaves change colors in the fall and why trees lose their leaves in the winter. Seasons would be a fun unit topic to cover with a class and the illustrations in this book would help add a nice visual element to it! In also discussing theme using this book I would discuss where trees live and how to plant your own tree and help it grow. It would make a great science unit but would be easy to incorporate literacy using this book and others. Setting would be discussed using this book and all of the activities that are mentioned using different trees (trees in parks, trees near your house, trees in your backyard) Using this book it could lead into a lesson or a unit about types of trees and types of plants, and where they are indigenous to.