A Year Around the Great Oak, Hardback
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Benjamin and Anna love staying with their cousin Robin in his house near the forest.

In the autumn, Robin takes them to see his favourite tree -- a giant oak that is 300 years old.

The children build a den under the oak tree's giant branches and watch the squirrels hide acorns in its wide trunk.

In the winter they ski through the forest and meet the foresters who chose which trees will become firewood this year -- but not their beautiful oak tree!

In the spring the children go searching for badgers and see many animals that live in the forest -- nesting birds, gentle deer and shy rabbits.

One night, the tree helps Benjamin when he discovers a creature he didn't expect.

How can the children say thank you? A beautifully detailed, seasonal story from Gerda Muller, who gave us the beloved Seasons board books and Where Do They Go When it Rains?

Children will love to spot the realistic animals and birds that live in the great oak's forest.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 32 pages, colour illustrations
  • Publisher: Floris Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Picture storybooks
  • ISBN: 9780863159466



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

When Benjamin and Anna visit their cousin Robin, who lives with his family on the edge of the forest, they are quickly introduced to the three-hundred-year-old oak tree that grows nearby. The children build a den near the tree, and enjoy the beauty of the autumn foliage as they witness how the great oak provides shelter for many animals. They visit again in the winter and spring, observing the ancient tree through the seasons, as it continues to provide shelter to the residents of the forest. Benjamin himself is in need of that shelter when he wanders out one night, and encounters some wild boars. When the year comes full circle, and summer is ending, the children throw the great old oak a birthday party, in thanksgiving for the blessings it brings to them, and to the world.Originally published in German as <u>Unser Baum</u> (literally, "Our Tree"), this engaging picture-book from Gerda Muller is a celebration of the role of one tree in a wider ecosystem, but also of the bond between humans and the natural world around them. As someone who had a favourite tree myself as a girl - I have treasured memories of swinging upside down from the Japanese Maple in my front yard, growing up - I identified with Robin's love for this one special tree, and also appreciated the feeling of enchantment that a visit to the country would have provided Benjamin and Anna. I liked the lessons about respecting wildlife that were worked into the larger story - the children, together with Robin's forester father, are careful to keep their distance while observing the badgers and other animals coming for an evening drink at the pond - and also found the artwork appealing. I particularly liked the scene with the owls in the nighttime, and the decorative endpapers. All in all, <u>A Year Around the Great Oak</u> is an appealing picture-book, one I would recommend to young nature and tree-lovers.

Review by

Charming nature story with beautiful wildlife illustrations.

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