Great Kapok Tree Book Review

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry is a magnificent book with a timely message about saving the Amazon Rain Forest.  Children and adults will love and enjoy this book.  This quote is from the inner book jacket,  “With her lush paintings of the Amazon rain forest, Lynne Cherry has created a magical tale with a conservation message that speaks to both children and adults.”

The story presents the plight of the Amazon rain forest and its creatures in a unique way.  In a charming and poignant tale Lynne Cherry presents much educational information about the rain forest. A man is brought into the rain forest with the specific job to cut down a Kapok tree.

The Great Kapok Tree is a Very Large Tree.

The Kapok tree is a very large tree and after chopping for a while the man lays down to take a nap.  It is tiring work.  In the course of his nap all the inhabitants of the Kapok tree and the forest come to the man to present their case to save the tree.

It is very educational to see how many diverse and different lives would be affected by the loss of the tree including people’s lives.  In their pleas we learn a lot about the rain forest and how valuable it is.  When the man wakes up he continues to chop down the tree but then, inexplicably, stops, drops the ax and walks out of the forest.  All the animals and insects had presented their case very effectively and the man no longer wants to cut down the tree.

We get to meet all the creatures by way of the book’s amazing  illustrations.  Ms. Cherry went to the Amazon rain forest for research in order to paint the illustrations. Some of the same animals visiting the man during his nap actually came down and visited Ms. Cherry. She wanted to experience the rain forest firsthand so she went into the forest by jeep. She spent a few weeks taking pictures and drawing the animals she observed.

You can actually listen to the story and see the art work by clicking on the YouTube link below.  The story is charming, enjoyable, captivating and educational.  If you would like to purchase it for your home library you can click on the picture below or this link The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest.

The Great Kapok Tree has several awards:

  • NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children
  • American Bookseller’s Association “Pick of the Lists”
  • International Reading Association Teacher’s Choice.

For more information on the Kapok tree you can click on this link.