Art, Books, Learning, Reviews, Travel

Book Review: Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha’s Vineyard

Continuing on my ‘Better Late Than Never’ series of reviews, today’s featured book is ‘ The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha’s Vineyard’. This is another of those books I read a while ago, while seems better than saying eons ago.

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The Book Review

The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha’s Vineyard

Book Info

Title: The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha’s Vineyard
Author: Amy MacDougall
Illustrator: Nicole Gsell
Publisher: Lychee Books
Genre: Children’s Fiction , Outdoors & Nature

Goodreads|| Amazon || Book Depository || Barnes and Noble


The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha’s Vineyard illustrates the history of the famous tree from Edgartown, MA for which the book is named. It is affectionately told by a mother to her daughter, about the life of a tree-its journey-from a little sapling in the Orient to its home in Martha’s Vineyard in the USA. It addresses two people who lived far apart on a shared Earth many years ago, yet formed a friendship which the Pagoda tree symbolizes and celebrates to this day!

My Thoughts

Mama, tell me a story. Those are words I love to hear, even today, when I know it won’t happen as often with my teens! But they surprise me every once in a while and say those very words – mama, tell us a story. And I am glad I have stories to tell them, stories that they enjoy.

This book is about one such mama telling a story to her daughter. And it is history wrapped in a package of sweetness accompanied by beautiful illustrations that flow across the pages. You learn about the majestic pagoda tree that grows in Edgartown, Masachussets.

As the mother narrates the story, you – along with the little girl,

  • learn how the tree made its way from the far East to become one of the oldest and largest pagoda trees today in the United States.
  • see how things have changed, about the inventions and discoveries -from the time the tree made its way to the United States to the current times – aptly measured using familiar knowns like crayons, among other things. B.C. to A.C. –> Before Crayons to After Crayons!
  • make cool connections between the past and the present, between cultures across continents, between a sea captain who lived and adventured a couple of centuries ago and yourselves
  • get a glimpse into trading then – across seas and land

The illustrations add another wonderful dimension to the book with beautiful flowing watercolors and collaged as well as drawn details that beg the reader to pause and take notice. The photograph of the actual tree is a plus as well that brings reality even more to the forefront.

In Summary

A great resource for learning history in a fun way, and to inspire travel – for your reader at home and in the classroom. This book is a history lesson wrapped in a beautifully illustrated package of fiction.

Rating: 4.5/5
Reading Level: 5 – 8 years (and above!)
Reread Level: 4.5/5 (the fun facts and hidden details in the illustrations)

The book inspired me to go learn more about the tree, and it truly is interesting. Someday maybe I will make a trip to that part of the nation, and visit this tree too.

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the original digital review copy of the book. These are my honest opinions.


Here is my day 2 attempt. I need to, as I mentioned in my day 1 post, work on my drawing and inking skills (well, actually learn how to).

& You’ve Reached the End Now 🙂

This was for day two of my challenges 🙂 You can have a look at my inktober posts on instagram and all previous challenge posts using the link(s) below

A Fine Day To Start Challenges

13 thoughts on “Book Review: Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha’s Vineyard

    1. 🙂 My book finds are usually one of three places – the local library, my personal library (that I add books to from book hauls at sales whenever I can), and review copies from publishers(this last one is most often digital copies to review that expire soon after)

  1. I love reading with my grandsons and finding books that make them want to read. My 3 kids are adults now and all read for pleasure. This is a wonderful review and I like your Inktober thought and drawing.

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