Max is three and a half years old when his family moves to a new home, leaving behind his ‘forest’ — a stand of trees in their old yard. He misses his forest, and this becomes the focus of his feelings of disruption and loss related to the move.
Grandfather Apple Tree, the King of the Trees, all the forest trees, messenger swans, and a dog cooperate to help Max get a tree to help him adjust to his new home. The forest sends the swans with
a message to alert the King of the Trees about the problem. The King holds
a conference of all the trees, and many kinds of trees compete to live with
Max. Finally, Grandfather Apple Tree proposes a solution, and an apple tree
is sent to be a companion to Max.
A story of loss and discovery, a fable of growth and
change, and love of the natural world, and introducing the idea of stewardship
of the earth shown in the wonder of an apple orchard through the seasons
in 64 luminous color photographs.
For children, parents, teachers, and grandparents to
share. Read it together with a younger child over 2-3 nights. Beginning and
independent readers from first, second, and third grades and older enjoy
it. Or use as a picture book at any age, with or without the captions. Use
with a projector to share with a class.
134 pages (120 + 14 pp. cover + front/back matter); 64 luminous
color photographs. This PDF edition is designed to be read in
landscape orientation on any color-capable reader software
More information about PhotoLuminations and this book at http://PhotoLuminations.com/books/
A Tree for Max
New Technology Publishing, Inc.
Max lived in an old house in Oldtown.
There was a big yard with a stand of
Max called the trees his ‘forest,’
and he loved to listen to the
And the trees seemed to listen to him.
But when Max was three and a half years old,
his family moved to Newtown.
Their house in Newtown was very nice
and there was a big yard.
But there were no trees in the yard.
One day Max said to his Mom, “I miss my forest.”
Meanwhile, in Oldtown, the forest trees missed Max. And so...
One fine day,
the King of the Trees was awakened
by two large, white swans.
What a loud sound they made,
flying around the head of the grandest tree
at Cedar Pond in Peabody Forest.
“Wake up, King of the Trees,
we have a message for you.”
Whoosh! Swoop! Woosh!
The King, a magnificent elm tree,
was not used to waking up so early.
liked to sleep late.
He was old, and being King is hard work.
He swayed his
he waved his branches,
he shook his leaves,
and he asked,
“What is your message?”
What is your message?
The larger swan said,
“O King, there is a young boy who left his forest.
His name is Max. His family moved away
from the forest in Oldtown and
now he lives in his wonderful new home in Newtown.
He has everything except his forest.”
O King, there is a young boy who left his forest.
The trees in the Oldtown forest,
where Max used to live,
waved their branches.
and shook their leaves.
And they spoke these words.
The Oldtown forest sent a message.
“We are the trees in the forest
behind Max’s old house.
We remember the good times we had together.
We remember that he loved to be with us,
and we enjoyed
watching him play.
We miss him.”
We miss him.
“We want him to be happy in his new home.
We want him to have at least one
tree to be his friend.
So we are asking the King
to send him one tree to
live with him
and be his friend
and give him something every day.
Max will be a friend to his new tree,
and to all trees.”
We want Max to have at least one tree to be his friend.
The King of the Trees said,
“Thank you, swans.
You have delivered the message
from the trees in the old forest.
Now you may go rest,
swim in the water, and eat.
You will be safe here.
The Canaan dog, Keren,
is my Protector of Life in the Forest.
She will watch and keep you safe.”
Keren will watch and keep you safe.
Then the King called
a gathering of all the trees.
He swayed his branches.
and rustled his leaves
and spoke to them,
“Trees, what can we do to help Max,
the boy who misses his forest?
Maple tree, you are my Minister of the Forests,
what do you advise?”
The King called a gathering of all the trees.
Maple tree swayed his branches
and shook his leaves
in Oldtown cannot travel so far.
But we can send one tree to live with him.
One tree is not a forest,
but one tree is better than none!”
“Aha! thank you, Maple,” said the King.
“Let us choose a tree
that can give something to Max
every day of the year.”
Maple tree says that one tree is better than none.
Then all the trees cried out, “Send me, King, send me!”
“You are all so generous.
How can I choose among you?” asked the King.
“Maple tree, please give me your advice.”
Maple tree waved his trunk,
shook his branches,
and called out to all the trees,
“All you trees, speak up, one by one,
tell us why you are best for Max,
so we may choose.”
Each tree wants to be chosen.
The sugar maple tree spoke up first.
She shook her branches and made her leaves tremble.
“Send me, King!
In the spring I will give my sweet maple syrup.
In the fall, when my leaves turn to gold and red,
I will give him delight with my beauty.”
But the maple tree said,
“Thank you. Alas, Max lives where it is warmer.
must live further north,
in a place that stays cold in the
There you will make
sweet maple syrup for Max.”
Sugar maple said, “Send me, King!”
Then the evergreen pine tree called out.
“Send me, King! I will make Max
by reminding him that some things can stay green
even in the cold,
dark days of winter.”
The maple tree spoke:
“Evergreen tree, you are beautiful
and special to be green in the cold of winter.
But alas, your branches get sticky with sap
and Max will not be allowed to climb on you.
But we thank you.”
Pine tree said, “Send me, King!”
Then the birch tree spoke softly.
Her trunk swayed and her leaves shivered.
delicate leaves move with the breeze
so I make the hot summer day feel cool,
and my white branches
make a beautiful pattern in the winter.”
But with that, many trees shook their branches
and rustled their leaves.
All trees except the evergreen
can do those things, and we are just as beautiful!”
And each one cried out, “Send
me, King. Send me.”
Thanks to Carol for edits on an earlier version, and to Elana, Ari, Deborah,
and Manny for comments and suggestions. Thanks to Ari and to friends,
including M.E., Gila Lindsley, and Warren Sadow for companionship on
trips to Brooksby Farm in Peabody. Many thanks to Pat Kriksceonaitis,
at Brooksby Farm and all the staff, including Michelle Melanson and Jason
for their interest, support, and guidance. And thanks to the many teachers,
parents, and children whose interest and comments were of so much help.
The ‘King of the Trees’ is the democratically elected leader
of the trees; he lives near Cedar Pond in Peabody MA. The swans live
at Cedar Pond. The ‘Sentinel Tree’ is in the estuary of the
Forest River in Salem MA. The tree for Max is an
antique semi-dwarf with both golden delicious and red delicious apples
from Stark Bros. nursery.
No trees, animals, birds, or celestial objects such as the moon were harmed
in the creation of this book.
NEW TECHNOLOGY PUBLISHING, INC. http://www.newtechpub.com/maxtree
Copyright © 2011 New Technology Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2011 Jerry Halberstadt All
Photos of the forest at the old house and trees; author photo:
Copyright © Ari Halberstadt 2006, 2007, 2011.
Photos of forest, Max on cover, and Max with his trees: Copyright © 2010,
2011 Elana A. Halberstadt.
Trademarks ™ of New Technology Publishing, Inc. and/or PhotoLuminations
include: The logo of a hand grasping the sun ™ PhotoLuminations ™ PhotoLuminations.com ™
ISBN: 978-1-882431-15-1 html-THIS SAMPLE / ONLINE
ISBN: 978-1-882431-09-0 epub
ISBN: 978-1-882431-10-6 PDF
ISBN: 978-1-882431-12-0 Kindle/mobi
Edition 1.1—REV: 232-PDF—
PhotoLuminations, http://photoluminations.com/books an imprint of
NEW TECHNOLOGY PUBLISHING, INC.
To Grandson Max and his parents, Elana and Andy.
Praise for A Tree for Max
What a wonderful book! My second-grade students loved it. We loved
the photos and the concept. It sparked up a nice conversation about nature.
I would definitely share this book with future students, especially in the
fall with apple picking season and new beginnings with a new school year. I
forwarded it to a few of my colleagues to share with their students. Personally
I loved the book, probably in a different way than my students. A Tree
for Max has messages for both adults and children.
—Amy Eagan, 2nd grade teacher
My son Julian, 3rd grade, liked A Tree for Max a lot. Julian read it alone. He sat
down and read it from beginning to end without any stop. He said the plot was
interesting and liked that there were real pictures. He also took pleasure
in retelling me the story, which is very unusual! He normally does not like
to tell about what he reads, but this time, explained it to me in great detail.—Pascal,
It is a very well written, thoughtful book that I recommend because our children really responded to it. Our girls, Taylor (7 years, 2nd grade) and Ally (5 years) loved A Tree for Max, both the storyline and the pictures. Teddy and I read the book to the children, although our 7 year old could have read it alone.—Andrea
My granddaughter, Kyla, (8 years, grade 3) loved the book. I read it
to her and next she read it to me. We have talked frequently of seasonal
changes that the book brought to light. She tells me that she especially
loves Grandfather Apple and the guard dog. This is a very thought provoking
subject that allowed Papa to spend some quality time with his granddaughter.
Kyla has shared it with several friends, and I have recommended it to her teacher.—Gerry
My children, Michael, age 8 and Philomena, age 5, both enjoyed A Tree
for Max. They enjoyed the personalities of the trees and of course, the
pictures. Michael, who is home-schooled, said that the role of the swans
as messengers stood out most in his mind, saying, “It was a good idea
for swans to be messengers because they can fly.” As an educator, I
enjoyed the thoughtfulness and sensitivity of the story. Moving is a
transitional period in a child’s life, it does not have to be traumatic. A
Tree for Max conveys
the message that Max is loved and cherished no matter where he lives.
Valuable lessons about nature are presented through the pictures and
the narration of the trees. We see the seasons of Max’s life change in
a metaphorical sense, and we see the seasonal cycle of change in the
trees. Reading this warm and touching story, people can relate these
physical and emotional events in a meaningful way to their own lives. —Janel
Jerry Halberstadt and Keren in the woods at Cedar Pond. Saba
Jerry is a grandfather to Max, a writer, and
a photographer. The Canaan dog is an ancient breed native to Israel
and closely related to the wolf, ancestor of all dogs, and is an excellent companion. For more
information, please see: http://PhotoLuminations.com/books/