Item description for The Book Tree: A Christian Reference for Children's Literature by Elizabeth McCallum & Jane Scott...
Overview How appropriate that a mother and her daughter should have given us such a delectable treat. This is a timely and welcome resource. The authors have done our homework for us. This guide is a great reference tool to assist parents as they select literature for their children. It points to all the major classics and favorites, as well as many lesser known treasures. Its summaries are divided into preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Three indexes make for easy navigation, as do the convenient page numbers on each page. Over a period of ten years, Elizabeth McCallum and her daughter read every young person's book currently available. They selected only the very best books to include in this annotated reference guide. Unlike other book lists on the market, this guide has been written for the children themselves; the style is conversational, the pictures are zany, and the commentaries on every book imitate the author's style so that the reader can get an accurate impression of each book. The authors have one purpose in mind to encourage children of all ages to read good books. For more information, you may visit her website. She would be glad to chat with children and adults about additional reading suggestions. Please do not hesitate to email her with your comments, questions, and suggestions.
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Elizabeth McCallum (M.A. English, University of Houston) has taught high school and college English for thirty years. She currently teaches English at Covenant Christian Academy (Cumming, GA) and conducts seminars on literature and English for both parents and teachers.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Book Tree: A Christian Reference for Children's Literature?
GREAT BOOK!!! Yes they left off some good ones but who doesn't! Feb 19, 2008
This is only the 2nd book review, I have done. I have three other similar books and I am actually on-line looking for more. I just felt the one star the other patron gave this book was extremely bias and wrong to the rest of us. Keeping an open-mind as a book reviewer is very important.
There are Catholic stories for sure in "The Book Tree", "Madeline" comes to my mind. The "Queen of the Reformation" (page 138) is given no more prominence than any other book with a caption. Just opening the book, "Ox-Cart Man" (Page 30) and "Bread and Jam for Frances" (Page 31) have similar types of captions.
One caption I don't particularly like is from "Book of Greek Myths" (Page 50) "After a while Mother Earth bore three more sons. Uranus looked at them with disgust. Each of them had fity head and a hundred strong arms." I obviously don't believe in mythology at all, but would I say the entire book is bad because of that, of course not. Would I read the book about greek mythology--of course. It is part of the world's history. Would I recommend it to a young reader who I thought could handle it--of course. Recommend it to all children--no.
As far as the quality of "The Book Tree", I think it is wonderful. Yes they have left off many good books, but so has every other book of this type. They have done alot of research and there are over 300 listings in this book and a short paragraph about each. Reading and choosing books for children should be fun. You as the ADULT can pick and choose and read for yourself and make the final decision for the children you come in contact with.
One I would like to recommend to the one star patron is "Really Good Books for Kids: a guide for Catechists and Parents" by Jamaan Manternach.
Another favorite book of mine in this category is "Children's Literature for All God's Children." The only problem it was published in 1986. The ideas for using chiildren's literature in all kinds of settings is timeless. It has an excellent 5 star review written by someone else.
Finally, I hope this review is helpful to others. Choosing books for children and the young at heart is hard and I think these authors did a wonderful job. This kind of research makes the job for all of us so much easier. Thank you.
Anti-Catholic bias and 'curious' perspective on the "Civil War." Jul 3, 2007
The authors of this volume have chosen to emphasize books with a strong anti-Catholic bias. For example, the book "Queen of the Reformation" is given prominence (on page 138) with a drawing of a bishop accompanied by the following: "In a half-scream, she continued: 'We can no longer suffer the serpent to creep through the field of the Lord. The books of Martin Luther are to be examined and burned.'" I am surprised the authors did not also recommend the anti-Catholic fantasies of Jack Chick.
Also of concern might be the prominence given by the authors to southern heroes of the "War between the States." (I am surprised they did not call it "The War of Northern Aggression.") Four books on Robert E. Lee are listed but not one on Ulysses S. Grant. No doubt heroes and villains were to be found on both sides, but the recommended reading here leans southward.
Parents looking for lists of books for their children would do better to consult those at the end of Michael D. O'Brien's "A Landscape with Dragons."
"The Book Tree" is a "Christian" reference in only the most distorted sense of the word.
I love it! Feb 14, 2007
This is a great resource for appropriate children's literature. I like the brief synopsis of the books, and I appreciate the sections on biographies that are appropriate for different age levels.