mbobo tree

February 18, 2011

books for kids

Millard, G. (author) & White, A. (illustrator). (2009). Mbobo Tree. London: Scholastic.

I never intended for this blog to include book reviews. However, the children’s books I am featuring are so darned good everyone should know about them.

Glenda Millard is an Australian author, and I had never heard of her before I purchased this book to include in our tree theme this term at playgroup.

This book has so much heart, when I first read it I couldn’t speak for a while afterwards. It definitely has the wow factor. The story is set in a village in Africa where the villagers live in harmony with the only tree in the village and the wild and domestic creatures who also rely on the tree for sustenance. The themes are of acceptance, belonging, caring, and integration.

It is probably more suited for children aged 4 years and above, as there is a lot of text and the story is quite detailed. At playgroup, prior to reading the story, we talked about all the parts of a tree as these are mentioned in the story. We had made cardboard trees earlier in the morning for craft, and next week at playgroup we will be making handmade books featuring edible fruits and nuts that grow on trees. Scholastic has published teacher’s notes which would be suitable for children in a classroom environment.

This morning I ordered Plum Puddings and Paper Moons written by Glenda Millard which is a small novel for independent readers, about a girl who wants to make a difference in the world.


Images: tree craft at playgroup


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About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

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4 Comments on “mbobo tree”

  1. kloppenmum Says:

    It sounds incredible. I shall have to have a look around and see if I can get my hands on a copy.
    I love the integrated teaching/learning you’re doing with your class. I know it happens a lot in kindergartens here, and in some primary classes – personally, I think it’s a much more natural way to go about things.


    • hakea Says:

      I order a lot of books from fishpond on the internet. I have noticed that the parcels sometimes come from NZ. Do you have fishpond there? They are frequently cheaper than other vendors.

      The teacher theory I have been studying, both in early childhood and primary education, places an emphasis on an integrated curriculum together with interactive text reading. I have to keep it simple for playgroup as the kids are 4 and under, but I am always trying to come up with different ways of enriching the children’s experience, on a very tiny budget.


  2. kloppenmum Says:

    Yep, fishpond are great. The Owl wanted a certain set of lego for his upcoming birthday and they were the only ones who could source it for me.

    I know what you mean about education budgets. What about going a bit hippy and using sticks and leaves and nuts and stones… In the olden days when I taught all the littlies had an ice-cream container with 10 shells, 10 acorns, 10 bottle-tops (OK not natural!)… but it was a great resource for Maths – patterning, basic facts, size etc: and we could pretty well adapt it to anything – all good open ended stuff.


    • hakea Says:

      I actually don’t mind having a small budget. The parents I work with are low SES, so I like to use materials that they can get their hands on easily and cheaply. It role models how they can do things in the home with their kids on a low budget.


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