Literature Connections to
Tree Homes

Teacher's Guides > Tree Homes

This guide is designed to stimulate children’s interest in the world around them. As such, books about how animals, and humans, make and create homes are a natural connection. An important life science concept in this guide is the dependence of many animals on tree holes for warm, safe homes. This can be extended to how any being ensures their home will keep them safe and secure.

Baby Raccoon
Black Bear Baby

The Day the Sun Danced

Good-Night, Owl!
The Great Kapok Tree
Hello, Tree
Night Tree
Once There Was a Tree
Our Very Own Tree
Owl Lake
Owl Moon
Raccoons and Ripe Corn
Stellaluna
A Tree is Nice
Trees
Two Little Bears
Whoo-oo Is It?
The Wind in the Willows
Winnie-The-Pooh


Baby Raccoon
by Beth Spanjian
Longmeadow Press, Stamford, Connecticut. 1988
Grades: Preschool–1
Baby Raccoon, along with his mother, sisters, and brothers, all leave their tree home nest for an adventurous search for food on a beautiful, moonlit summer night. This book works well with Activity 4.
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Black Bear Baby
by Bernice Freschet
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York. 1981
Out of print
Grades: Preschool–2
This story about Black Bear Baby and his sister realistically describes the early life of black bear cubs. This book works well with Activity 2.
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The Day the Sun Danced
by Edith T. Hurd
Harper & Row, New York. 1965
Grades: K–3
During the darkness and cold of winter, the rabbit goes to the bear, the fox, and the deer to tell them that something is going to happen. Beautiful woodcuts contrast the bleakness of winter and the brilliant colors of spring. This book works well with Activity 3.
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Good-Night, Owl!
by Pat Hutchins
Macmillan, New York. 1972
Grades: Preschool–2
Owl is kept awake during the day by all the noisy animals that live in the tree near him. Night comes and the situation changes. This book works well with Activity 5.
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The Great Kapok Tree
by Lynne Cherry
Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, San Diego. 1990
Grades: Preschool–3
The animals of the rain forest try to convince a sleeping man not to cut down a very large Kapok tree. This book works well with Activity 1.
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Hello, Tree
by Joanne Ryder
Lodestar Books, New York. 1991
Grades: K–3
This story encourages an appreciation for the beauty, growth, shade, sounds, smells, and textures of a tree and for the animals seen in the tree. This book works well with Activity 1.
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Night Tree
by Eve Bunting
Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, San Diego. 1991
Grades: Preschool–3
Each Christmas a family goes to a nearby forest to decorate a tree with food for the animals. This book works well with Activity 1.
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Once There Was a Tree
by Natalia Romanova
Dial Books, New York. 1985
Grades: Preschool–Adult
This beautifully illustrated story about the death of an old tree and the growth of a new one explores the question, “Who owns a tree—the animals that live in the tree or the bear, the birds, and the man who visit it?” This book works well with Activity 1.
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Our Very Own Tree
by Lawrence F. Lowery
Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corp., Chicago. 1993
(To order, call 1-800-554-9862)
Grades: K–3
Two friends have a special tree they often visit. Through the discoveries of these two little girls, children have a wonderful opportunity to learn about trees and the animals that live in them. This 12" x 18" book is beautifully illustrated and has a built-in stand. This book works well with Activity 1.
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Owl Lake
by Keizaburo Tejima
Philomel Books, New York. 1982
Out of print
Grades: Preschool–2
Bold woodcuts illustrate the story of a father owl who flies across a lake in the moonlight searching for silver fish to feed his hungry family. This book works well with Activity 5.
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Owl Moon
by Jane Yolen
Philomel Books, New York. 1987
Grades: Preschool–1
Large watercolor illustrations enhance this story about a little girl and her father who go into the woods on a moonlit night in search of a Great Horned Owl. The girl learns from her father that you need to be quiet, brave, and hopeful when you go looking for owls. This book works well with Activity 5.
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Raccoons and Ripe Corn
by Jim Arnosky
Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, New York. 1987
Grades: Preschool–3
Mother raccoon and her kits feast on corn all night long under a full moon. The large color illustrations show the raccoons in delightfully realistic poses. This book works well with Activity 4.
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Stellaluna
by Janell Cannon
Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York. 1993
Grades: Preschool–4
A baby fruit bat named Stellaluna is separated from her mother when an owl attacks. Not yet able to fly, Stellaluna falls and clutches a tiny twig. She is adopted and raised by birds. Many of her “bat ways” disappear as she, for example, learns to eat bugs, but, although she tries, she never stops her habit of hanging by her feet. In the end she is reunited with her mother but stays connected to her bird friends. Two detailed pages of fascinating background material about bats are included.
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A Tree is Nice
by Janice Udry
Harper & Row, New York. 1957
Grades: Preschool–1
Simple text and colorful illustrations express the many joys children find in trees. This book works well with
Activity 1.
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Trees
by Harry Behn
Henry Holt and Company, New York. 1992
Grades: Preschool–2
This beautifully illustrated poem celebrates the importance of trees. This book works well with Activity 1.
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Two Little Bears
by Ylla
Harper & Row, New York. 1954
Out of print
Grades: Preschool–2
The adventures of two lost bear cubs come to an end when their mother finds them. Beautiful large photographs capture the cubs in delightful poses. This book works well with Activity 2.
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Whoo-oo Is It?
by Megan McDonald
Orchard Books, Franklin Watts, New York. 1992
Grades: Preschool–1
Mother Owl hears a noise in the night and finally finds out what is making the mysterious sound. This book works well with Activity 5.
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The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame; illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard
Aerie Books, New York. 1988
Grades: Preschool–Adult
This wonderful, humorous classic, filled with the bustling lives of eccentric animal characters, takes place along a river and in the homes of the various animals including Badger, Toad, Mole, and Rat. The scenic descriptions accurately reflect the habitat of each animal. While the book is often read out loud to younger children, the pace and comic timing of the conversations makes it highly entertaining for adults.
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Winnie-The-Pooh
by A.A. Milne; illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard
E.P. Dutton, New York. 1926
Dell Publishing, New York. 1954
Grades: Preschool–Adult
This well-loved classic contains chapter after delightful chapter of the adventures of Christopher Robin, Pooh, and their animal friends—most of whom live in tree homes. Relevant chapters include Chapter 3 in which Pooh visits Piglet who lives in the bottom of a beech tree and Chapter 2 in which Pooh becomes stuck trying to leave rabbit’s home after eating too much honey. This book works well read aloud to younger children especially with Activity 2.
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