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Bella's Tree

av Janet Russell

Andra författare: Jirina Marton (Illustratör)

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213852,335 (3)Ingen/inga
Bella's Tree tells the story of a grandmother who has become "crooked" because she's too old to go out and find the perfect Christmas tree. Her spunky granddaughter, Bella, and Bruno the dog are certain they can do the job and put a smile on Nan's face. They sing for inspiration and enlist the help of some birds to help them pick the right tree.… (mer)
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Visar 3 av 3
When Bella's Nan becomes "crooked" - cranky or irritated, in colloquial Newfoundland parlance - because she has gotten too old and slow to pick berries like she used to, or to fetch in that perfect tree for Christmas, Bella pleads to be allowed, together with her massive (and largehearted) dog Bruno, to bring back a tree. After much persuasive knitting, in which she demonstrates how smart and coordinated she is, Nan finally agrees, and girl and dog set off into the woods. But although they do their best, the trees they bring back - an alder bush, a spruce, a pine - are not what Nan is looking for. Finally, aided by Nan's little songs - to be sung to the tunes of popular playground rhymes - Bella finds the tree: a beautiful fir.

Bella's Tree pairs an engaging holiday tale, in which a little girl is determined to cheer up her grumpy grandmother, with engrossing illustrations that, whilst not really pretty, in a conventional sense, are very interesting. The language is described, on the front flap of the dust-jacket, as "Newfoundland-infused," so young readers not from that part of the world might struggle a bit. I had to look up "crooked" myself, as I wasn't sure, from context, whether it indicated irritation or sadness. Still, if one can become accustomed to it, it adds an authentic cultural flavor to this unusual holiday story. Recommended to anyone who has searched for that perfect Christmas tree, and to young readers interested in stories from Newfoundland. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 13, 2013 |
Bella's Tree was written by Janet Russell and illustrated by Jirina Marton. It won the Governor General's Literary Award for English-Language Children's Literature.

It takes place in Newfoundland which has quite the colloquial language. It is a few days before Christmas, and Bella sets out to find her grandmother a tree because her grandmother is getting too old to do it anymore. At first she finds an alder bush, then a pine tree, and then a spruce all of which frustrates her grandmother more and more . Finally on Christmas eve, Bella and her dog Bruno set out one last time for the perfect tree. They find the fir tree that her Nan had wanted all along and bring it back for her. On Christmas morning when her Nan awakes, she is so happy to see her tree, and even though there were no decorations to put on it because they were all adorning the alder, spruce, and pine, a huge flock of waxwings arrive to land on the tree and sing for them.

This story has a lot of text and it's in the language of Newfoundland English. At first, I was not sure what to make of it, until I kept reading and experienced all the harmonies and music the amusing dialect had. The story itself actually had two formal songs within it and a small piece where Bella sings her request to the waxwings. It is very enjoyable to read, especially out loud because of the unique word choices and rhythm of the language. Quite often, the author used rhymes, repetition with phrases like "chopped down the tree and dragged it home to Nan", and with sounds like "plump pleasure". This, combined with the light hearted and funny tone, and the characters' personalities, for example, "crooked Nan", makes this story so engaging and believable.

The illustrations give off a dark and sombre mood on most pages and I can't figure out the medium used for the art- maybe oil or soft pastels. Regardless, it's very detailed, rich, and well done. It totally captures the essence of the culture and place. Each time Bella and Bruno find a tree, there is a small window above the text, opposite the illustration page, where the type of tree is shown. The illustrations reinforce text by showing Bella and Bruno talking to the birds or when Nan is putting up decorations. The pictures develop the story as well by for example, showing a white cat in the home playing with the decorations while Nan is talking to Bella, or Bruno the dog grooming himself while Bella is at the kitchen table.

This book is perfect for anyone interested in Newfoundland culture and stories. Because as a picture book that is so heavy with text, this would be excellent for elementary level readers. It also is ideal for holiday reading since it's about Christmas trees. ( )
  LisaBlanchard | Nov 25, 2011 |
Nan is "crooked" and cannot look for a Christmas tree. Her granddaughter Bella and her dog Bruno bring home an alder bush, a spruce, and pine tree. Nan decorates them, but really wants a fir tree. When Bella finally brings that home there are no decorations left, but readers will remember before the page is turned that she promised the birds they would have a tree to sing in on Christmas. As the story ends this sweet holiday offering from Newfoundland will briefly remind readers of the classic German story, Cobweb Christmas. ( )
  pacollins | Dec 9, 2009 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Janet Russellprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Marton, JirinaIllustratörmedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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Bella's Tree tells the story of a grandmother who has become "crooked" because she's too old to go out and find the perfect Christmas tree. Her spunky granddaughter, Bella, and Bruno the dog are certain they can do the job and put a smile on Nan's face. They sing for inspiration and enlist the help of some birds to help them pick the right tree.

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