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Thea's Tree

by Alison Jackson
Illustrated by Janet Pedersen

Published by Dutton, 2008
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0525474432

Ages 5-8

Podcast featuring this book

For her “Future Scientist Project,” Thea Teawinkle of Topeka, Kansas, plants a seed in her yard. When the ground turns purple and the dirt starts bubbling, her teacher suggests she write some local specialists for more information. With each letter, Thea describes the most recent change her plant has undergone. Could it be an African rubber plant she excitedly queries? Not in Topeka says Botanist Bertram Beaman. Could it be a giant Venus flytrap she anxiously inquires? Not in Topkea says Anna Applebaum of the Arboretum. After two weeks, the plant is sky high. Thea finds a golden egg beneath it and there are strange rumbling noises from above. Could there be a giant ostrich up there, she hopefully asks? Not in Topkea says Zoologist Zoe Zimmerman. Alison Jackson’s tongue-in-cheek story is told almost entirely through the amusing correspondence between Thea and a host of “experts,” none of whom can see the “big” picture or are willing to consider the impossible. Many readers and listeners, however, will understand perfectly well just what is going on—if the golden egg doesn’t give it away, the singing harp and the giant footprints surely will in this highly original homage to Jack and the Beanstalk. (MS) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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