Cover image for One small place in a tree
One small place in a tree
Brenner, Barbara.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[New York]: HarperCollins Publishers, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A child visitor observes as one tiny scratch in a tree develops into a home for a variety of woodland animals over many years, even after the tree has fallen.
Reading Level:
AD 610 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 77459.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.4 1 Quiz: 36266 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH541.5.F6 B69 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
QH541.5.F6 B69 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QH541.5.F6 B69 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Deep in the forest . . .

A bear sharpens her claws on a tree trunk. The scratched bark chips; a tiny hole forms. Timber beetles tunnel inside. The hole grows bigger and bigger.

In lyrical prose, Barbara Brenner reveals the fascinating happenings in one small place. She explains how, over many years, the rough hole transforms into a cozy hollow -- home to salamanders, tree frogs, a family of white-footed mice. Tom Leonard's absorbing illustrations take you beneath the bark to a hidden world. His warm, lifelike depictions of squirrels and bluebirds, snakes and spiders show the splendor that dwells in the most unexpected places.

So stop. Observe. Explore your natural world. If you look closely enough, you will surely find . . . one small place that is home for something.

Author Notes

Barbara Brenner was born on June 26, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York. Brenner attended Seton Hall College and Rutgers University from 1942-46, while also working as a copy editor at Prudential Insurance Company. Her freelance work as an artist's agent prepared her for a literary life. In 1957 she published her first book, Somebody's Slippers, Somebody's Shoes. She followed this book with an educational picture book entitled Barto Takes the Subway, designed to improve reading comprehension and sight vocabulary.

Her artistic development continued when she began to collaborate with her husband, illustrator Fred Brenner, on The Flying Patchwork Quilt. Her next book, On the Frontier with Mr. Audubon, was selected by School Library Journal as The Best of the Best among children's books published over 26 seasons. One of her bestselling titles was Wagon Wheels (published in 1978), which deals with the trials and tribulations of a close-knit African American family. In 1986, Brenner was honored with the Pennsylvania School Librarians' Association's Outstanding Pennsylvania Author Award. Brenner's most celebrated book is a collection entitled Voices: Poetry and Art from around the World, for which she was chief editor. This book received an ALA Notable Book for Children mention and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Reviewed with Barbara Brenner's One Small Place by the Sea0 . Gr. 2-4. These companion books offer a glimpse of nature in action by zeroing in on "one small place" teeming with living things. By the Sea0 takes an up-close look at a tide pool, briefly describing the timing of the tides and how the changes affect tide pool inhabitants, while giving a more in-depth explanation of the complex interdependence of the plants and animals in their unique environment. In One Small Place0 , a bear uses a tree as a scratching post, thus beginning the chain of events that leads to a large hole that becomes home to a variety of forest animals. Brenner makes the science enjoyable and understandable, and Leonard's highly detailed, realistic illustrations provide great visual aid. These attractive volumes will nicely complement a science unit on ecology. --Lauren Peterson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Two new titles by Barbara Brenner, illus. by Tom Leonard, examine tiny animal habitations. One Small Place in a Tree demonstrates how different animals slowly create a hole in a tree (a bear uses the bark as a scratching post; timber beetles "set up housekeeping" in the layer below, etc.); even as the tree dies, it is host to birds and bacteria and later squirrels, salamanders and spiders. One Small Place by the Sea shows how life flourishes in small tide pools, as anemones, sea stars and other creatures feed on plankton and each other in an ever-changing coastal ecosystem. Leonard renders his realistic, full-bleed illustrations both scientifically and dramatically. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Brenner leads children on ecological explorations of two environments, a tide pool and a hole in a tree. As the tide ebbs and flows and as the scratch in the bark of an oak grows and is gradually transformed into a hollow space, the animals that live in these places are revealed. Although a youngster is shown investigating each of these two habitats, the author utilizes an active second-person voice that successfully transforms readers into participants. Leonard's scientifically accurate, realistic paintings complement the poetic prose. The brightly colored full- and double-page illustrations display large, clear images of the creatures as well as detailed glimpses of their surroundings. Both of these selections are excellent choices to share with young naturalists, whether at home, in the classroom, or during a storytime romp through the great outdoors. For a fun follow-up trek, try Wendy Pfeffer's A Log's Life (S & S, 1997).-Jenna Miller, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.