Cover image for Brother Bartholomew and the apple grove
Brother Bartholomew and the apple grove
Cheripko, Jan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Honesdale, Pa. : Boyds Mills Press, 2004.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
An ambitious monk learns a lesson in humility when he encounters Brother Bartholomew, the old monk who tends the apple grove.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.1 0.5 78193.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.2.C54 BR 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area

On Order



Boyds Mills Press publishes a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction picture books, chapter books, novels, and nonfiction

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 1-3. Youthful, energetic Brother Stephen knows he can tend his monastery's apples better than old Brother Bartholomew, who sits idly by as deer chomp the valuable fruit. When confronted, Brother Bartholomew merely comments, God will provide. The care of the orchards eventually passes to Brother Stephen, who sets feverishly to work, repairing the gate and strengthening the fence, topping it with barbed wire. When a noble stag injures itself on the wire, Brother Stephen understands that pride has distracted him from the true path of God. Lithuanian artistasparavicius extends the theme of humility with quiet, earth-toned scenes of life in a rustic monastery. Although this Christian fable becomes forthrightly religious when a voice from on high delivers a Bible verse and short sermon to the penitent Brother Stephen, the simple messages of generosity, compassion, and respect for the wisdom of the elderly reach out to an ecumenical audience. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lithuanian illustrator Kasparavicius's (The Pied Piper of Peru) detailed and quietly radiant watercolors capture the emotional undercurrents in this story with a moral. Eight monks at a "saintly" monastery earn their living by hard, rustic labor. Aging Brother Bartholomew tends the apple trees, important for the apple sauce the monks make from the harvest, but when the others ask why he doesn't always close the gate or repair the fence against the deer, he simply smiles and says, "God will provide." Then young, strong Brother Stephen joins the monastery, certain that he could do a better job in the orchard. When Brother Bartholomew dies, he gets his chance. In his lengthy text, Cheripko (Imitate the Tiger) spells out his message in no uncertain terms: Brother Stephen learns that pride comes before a fall, a lesson reinforced by a disembodied voice that cites the Sermon on the Mount, and Brother Stephen finally appreciates Brother Bartholomew's wisdom. The pictures, which thoughtfully trace the seasons at the monastery, show more imagination. Alone in his confusion and resentment, the newly arrived young monk walks beneath barren trees in winter, unaware of the birds around him. Later, as Brother Stephen comes closer to spiritual growth, the scenes move from nocturnal or predawn shadow toward rosy daylight and bounty. In the end, while the story is didactic, it's also forgiving; readers can move on with Brother Stephen and grow along with him. Ages 6-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-In a quiet hilltop monastery, eight monks tend a small farm, eking out just enough to survive. Old Brother Bartholomew, who looks after the apple grove, allows the deer to come in and eat the fruit, saying, "God will provide." When young and ambitious Brother Stephen arrives, he is appalled at the state of the orchard and secretly hopes that the elderly monk will die so that he can take it over and improve it. After his death, the younger man puts barbed wire on the fence and a large, beautiful buck is injured while trying to jump over it. The animal looks at Brother Stephen with familiar eyes and speaks to him, saying: "Your pride has caused this harm, my brother." From then on, "a great rush of light filled his heart and flooded his soul," and Brother Stephen shares the apples with the deer. When he grows old and a new young monk asks him why, Brother Stephen replies, "God will provide.- He always does." This simple parable is beautifully illustrated in muted colors and detailed landscapes that show the passing of the seasons and evoke a rural, old-world simplicity. Perhaps a bit sophisticated in theme, this offering will work best when shared with an adult.-Shelley B. Sutherland, Niles Public Library District, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.