The Gravity Tree: The True Story of a Tree That Inspired the World by Anna Crowley Redding, illustrated by Yas Imamura

Published by HarperCollins

Amazon.com: The Gravity Tree: The True Story of a Tree That Inspired the  World (9780062967367): Redding, Anna Crowley, Imamura, Yas: Books
Amazon.com: The Gravity Tree: The True Story of a Tree That Inspired the  World (9780062967367): Redding, Anna Crowley, Imamura, Yas: Books

Summary:  Many of us have heard that Isaac Newton developed the theory of gravitation after watching an apple fall off of a tree.  Newton is the star of that story, but what about the tree?  Believe it or not, it still stands outside of Woolsthorpe Manor, Isaac’s home in Lincolnshire England, and has been visited by such scientific superstars as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.  A sliver of it traveled aboard the International Space Station and was released into space.  A piece was used on a carriage handcrafted for Queen Elizabeth II.  And offspring from its seeds have been planted around the world.  It all started with one apple seed, and, the book concludes, you too contain the potential to change the world.  Includes additional information about the gravity tree, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking; a timeline of Newton’s life; and a bibliography.  40 pages; grades K-5.

Pros:  2021 does seem to be the year of the tree: counting trees, wise trees, historical trees, and now a tree that has inspired famous scientists.  It’s a fun and fresh way to introduce kids to the works of Newton, Einstein, and Hawking, while using the metaphor of a seed to inspire them to think about their own potential.  The back matter makes it a great book for older elementary kids.

Cons:  Turns out the apple didn’t hit Newton on the head which takes away a bit of the drama from the story.

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