Button, Bucket, Sky
by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Illustrated by Vicki Jo Redenbaugh
Carol Rhoda Books, 1998. ISBN 978-1-57505-244-1.
Button Bucket Sky is the story of Annie Livemore, who lives in a small house on Tumble Road with her cat Hector. Every day is just the same for her, filled with mending, dusting, and making soup, until the day she dozes under her oak tree-- which is the last tree on Tumble Road. She dreams the tree is sick and even her best chicken soup is not a cure.
When Annie wakes up she says to Hector, "We are wasting our time with mending and dusting." She and Hector find two friends--Harriet Grace and Little Same--to help them collect acorns (Annie calls them "buttons with oak tree songs inside") and plant oak trees.
- Use the directions in the book to gather acorns and to plant oak trees.
- Read more about oak trees by reading Gordon Morrison's Oak Tree (Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine, 2000)
Several generations participate in the planting of trees in Martin's poetic, somewhat sugary story. Annie Livemore is an older woman who enjoys sitting under her big oak tree, the last in the neighborhood. One fall, the woman enlists the help of youngsters Harriet and Little Sam, to gather "'shiny brown buttons with oak tree songs inside.'" Harriet Grace deems the buttons (or acorns) "'as beautiful as polished pianos.'" In the spring, the trio plants them in a variety of recycled containers, including old soup bowls and berry buckets,... over the years grow into the sky--until Harriet and not-so-little Sam return with their own families to walk down Annie's road among the trees and pick up acorns. ....concluding instructions for growing their own oak trees. Ages 5-8. (June)—Publishers Weekly