Cover image for Jacob's tree
Jacob's tree
Keller, Holly.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Jacob is the smallest bear in his family and although everyone tells him he will grow, he finds it hard to wait.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clearfield Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Aurora Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Anna M. Reinstein Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



The bright red line the tree outside is proof that Jacob the bear hasn't grown even one inch! Jacob's mama says wait, and so does his papa, but Jacob hates being small. Luckily, happy days, hibernation, and a little patience transform a small bear into a not-so-small bear -- with a new line on the tree to prove it -- in Holly Keller's flawless and funny tribute to preschool concerns.

Author Notes

Holly Keller is the author-illustrator of more than thirty-five books for young children including the Horace books, Farfallina and Marcel, Help!, and Grandfather's Dream. She has also illustrated over twenty nonfiction titles written by others including the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Books series. She won the 2003 Charlotte Zolotow Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. There's just the right blend of expressive watercolors and economical text in this warm tale about a common childhood concern. Jacob is worried about being the smallest one in his family: "Jacob was smaller than his brother, Sidney, / smaller than his sister, Rose, / smaller than Mama, / and a lot smaller than Papa." His parents tell him he must "wait" to grow. But Jacob doesn't want to wait. And nothing--exercise, vegetables, vitamins--seems to help. The crisp, clean paintings of the close-knit bear clan are bright with colors and patterns, and the simple, repetitive text contains details (like the too long pair of red overalls that Jacob is dying to wear) that are just right for the preschool audience. After a cold winter, the tree painted with a red line to measure Jacob's growth (or lack there of) shows that he has indeed grown taller. Delightful. --Julie Corsaro

Publisher's Weekly Review

Jacob is tired of being "too small," unable to keep up with his older siblings. The little bear takes his vitamins, drinks his milk, waits and waits, and still, according to the mark on the elm tree in his yard, he doesn't grow. Keller (Brave Horace) uses repetition and a deft choice of detail to evoke Jacob's frustration: "He hated it when Rose picked apples and he couldn't reach. He hated it when he was the only one who couldn't get to the top of the jungle gym." Her illustrations show the elm losing its leaves, snow-covered and, finally, with its branches erupting in buds until Jacob's patience finally pays off: the parting shot shows him perched proudly on the jungle gym. Keller's black ink and watercolor artwork tenderly charts Jacob's progress in a tale that reassures little ones they won't be small forever. Ages 4-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-Young children will identify with this gentle, unassuming story of a bear who longs to be bigger. Not only can't Jacob do certain things, such as see himself in the mirror, but it is also difficult and frustrating for him to keep up with his older brother and sister. He tries eating all of his vegetables and drinking his milk but he still can't speed up the growth process. Finally, spring arrives. Upon discovering that he can now see in the mirror, he bounds outside to check his height against the big elm tree where Papa had previously made a mark. The new mark is indeed higher. The text has great pacing and a careful set up of ideas that allows readers access into the cub's emotional turmoil. The book also gives a sense of the time continuum. Jacob achieves his immediate goal but finds that there's still much growing to do. The illustrations, done in pen and ink and watercolor, make this book immediately inviting. The bear family looks softly human and thoroughly huggable. Keller's precision and the clarity of her art create a believable and sweetly friendly world.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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