The Inside Tree
Linda Smith
HarperCollins (2010)
ISBN 9780060282417
Reviewed by Grace (age 5) and Ella (age 4) Gleichner and Mom for Reader Views (10/09)

 

“Mr Potter lived alone in a little house just the right size for him and his teapot.  His house sat on a hill no bigger than a bump, and there was just enough room in his yard for a single tree.  But a finer tree Mr. Potter could not imagine.”

This is the beginning to a delightful book about a man who thinks too much.  One evening Mr. Potter sees his dog looking at him from outside and decides that the dog should be an inside dog instead.  But then he sees the lone tree in his yard, and decides that the tree should be inside too, which leads to some real problems.

Once inside, the tree begins to grow.  This causes Mr. Potter to cut a hole in his roof.  But that lets all the birds in.  And when it rains, a whole new set of problems is created.

My daughters and I really enjoyed this book.  Both Grace and Ella though that Mr. Potter was very silly for letting the tree into his house, but were okay with the dog being inside.

Grace: “Dogs belong inside, not trees” to which Ella added, “Christmas trees are okay though.”

Grace’s favorite part of the story was when all the birds got into the house.  “That’s what he gets for cutting a hole in his roof,” she said.

Ella’s favorite part was when Mr. Potter moved into the barn. “A barn is a funny place to live,” she said.

I found the story to be completely engaging and very funny.  I actually found myself laughing more than once. As for my children, this story kept their attention, but more importantly, sparked their imaginations.  “The Inside Tree” by Linda Smith was aided by the fantastic illustrations that helped tell the story. It was a fun and easy read for my daughters and me on a cold Sunday afternoon.  It was a perfectly cozy arrangement.

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