The Great Kapok Tree
Author and Illustrator: Lynne Cherry
BUY – The Great Kapok Tree
Some things are so precious that they can never be replaced.
The Great Kapok Tree is a story of such importance, that sharing it with your children may help to change the future of their world.
This stunningly illustrated book reminds us that it is essential to preserve the wild places and their ecosystems.
In the lush steamy rainforest a man comes to cut down the great Kapok tree. The first stage in clearing a jungle is felling the big trees. This magnificent giant is home to many creatures who will lose their lives if the forest is cleared.
The tree’s wood is very hard and tiring quickly in the tropical heat, he rests, falling asleep beneath the tree.
One by one the creatures come to whisper in his ear…
“Senhor” they call into his dreams, “Don’t cut the tree down.”
The bees buzz that their hive is in the tree and that through their pollen collecting they pollinate all the trees and flowers in the jungle. Their message is that all living things depend on each other.
The monkeys say that where one man comes, many follow. They return and chop down more trees. With the roots no longer holding the earth in place, the soil will be washed away in the heavy rains. The forest will become a desert.
A fun and effective way to read this story is to get creative with the voices. Children will love hearing you repeat “Senhor…” in each of the animals voices, as you tell each of the ten reasons why the tree and forest must be protected.
The vibrant pictures of plants and creatures are full of exotic lush detail and colour. Kids will be captivated by the unfamiliar creatures and their babies who crawl, swing, creep, flap and hop down to the ear of the sleeping man.
Jaguar growls that the Kapok tree is home to many birds and animals. If it is gone where will he find his dinner?
The Tree Porcupines remind him that the jungle provides oxygen which gives us all life.
The Anteaters whisper that what happens tomorrow depends on today. What of the children of tomorrow, must they live in a world without trees?
A silent footed forest child, from the Yanimamo tribe gives a final plea.
“Senhor, when you awake, please look upon us all with new eyes.”
These powerful messages reach the heart of the sleeping man and awaking with a start sees everyone staring at him! His outlook is transformed and he looks upon the beauty of the plants and flowers, smelling the perfume of their scent. He sees for the first time the rare and wondrous creatures who depend upon the great Kapok tree and the interconnection of life. Leaving his ax, he walks out of the rainforest.
Many people today are aware that the Amazon rainforest is being cleared at an alarming rate and with its destruction we are losing not only the unique and beautiful creatures who call it home, but plants which hold healing secrets and the primary system which produces air for the entire planet.
This highly acclaimed book is an outstanding introduction to conservation and the diversity of life in the hidden worlds of the wild.BUY – The Great Kapok Tree