Monday, February 8, 2016

The Singing Tree...

The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy happened to be the third title we've read by this author.  Many years ago we read The Chestry Oak and for Christmas 2014 we read A Tree for Peter.  Early on RileyAnn mentioned the fact that all three Seredy books we've read had something to do with a tree.  I found this to be an interesting connection, however, I'm not sure whether or not there was purpose to Seredy's titling.

Anyhow, The Singing Tree takes place on the Hungarian plains during WWI.  It not only covers the war, but is also a coming of age story for Jancsi and his cousin Kate.  When their fathers are sent off to war, the children learn what it is to grow up.  They not only have the responsibility of a farm, but also neighbors and family around them.  When it's been decided they will house six Russian prisoners of war and six semi-orphaned German children, they learn valuable lessons about peaceable relations with the so-called enemy.

As with other Seredy books we've read, there are a variety of themes and story threads woven throughout.  From our experience, I can't imagine that you'd be disappointed.  Seredy is a fabulous story teller and her illustrations are like no other.  In fact, she considered herself an illustrator and not an author, stating something to the effect that her stories simply gave her an excuse to draw pictures.  Ironically, Seredy was born in Budapest, Hungary.  Although most of her books were written in English, it was not her native tongue.

As part of the Beautiful Feet Modern American and World History study, while reading The Singing Tree, the kids were assigned a character sketch.  The following is the work of Ruben...

Ruben’s Character Sketch of Lily
February 1, 2016

Lily was very mean.  Her father was Judge Kormos.  He sent Lily to boarding school because her mother was sick.  Lily returned and one day they went to a wedding.  The Nagy’s were there and Lily didn’t get along with Kate Nagy.  Lily didn’t want to dance with Peter and she called him a bad name.  Kate stepped on Lily’s toe, which started a fight.  Lily fell into a hay pile in Varadi’s barn and Kate locked her in. 
Eventually Lily’s disappearance was discovered.  Judge Kormos admitted his struggle rearing Lily and Marton Nagy asked if Lily could spend the summer on this farm.  Judge Kormos thought it was a good idea.

Lily went to live at the Nagy farm.   At first, she didn’t like it, but after a while she didn’t want to leave.  Lily liked the animals and people.  By the end of the story, Lily matured into a young lady.  She was kinder and more helpful.  


  1. This book sounds wonderful! My friend, Amy, has highly recommended The Chestry Tree to me. I've yet to read it, though!

    Thanks for the link to Beautiful Feet books. I've heard of them before, but forgot about them!

  2. You're welcome Catie! We LOVE BF books :)