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Mary Tappage. Edited by Jean E. Speare. Illustrated by Terry Gallagher.
Winnipeg, MB: Pemmican Publicatlons, 1986.
unpaged, paper, Small Book, $6.95.
ISBN 0-919143-21-0. Big Book, $16.00. ISBN 0-919143-23-7. CIP.

Kindergarten-grade 4 / Ages 5-9

Reviewed by Elizabeth Crockett.

Volume 15 Number 4
1987 July

This gentle, moral tale was originally published in 1973 in the author's The Davis of Augusta (Madrona, 1977), edited by Jean Speare. Mary Augusta Tappage, the daughter of a Shuswap chief and a Métis, shared memories of her life.

In this story a little tree grows beside a big tree. When the tree is sma]] the big tree tells him how useless he is. The little tree grows up with the idea that in order to be valuable, one must be useful. As the years go by the little tree grows and grows and the birds build nests in his branches and the squirrels eat his cones and the people take his branches to make soft beds.

White the little tree is growing up the big tree is growing old. The old tree bemoans his uselessness and the young tree comforts him. "The most important thing the young tree ever did ... was making the old tree happy in his old age." Black-and-white illustrations by Terry Gallagher frame the text on every page. The animals and birds are recognizable and the people pursue a variety of activities. In some illustrations the tree bark is drawn as a face.

This book would be enjoyed by young children as a story, and could be used with older children when studying trees and native people.

Elizabeth Crockett, Niagara Falls, ON.
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