House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser

House Held Up by Trees

From Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser and rising talent Jon Klassen comes a poignant tale of loss, change, and nature's quiet triumph.When the house was new, not a single tree remained on its perfect lawn to give shade from the sun. The children in the house trailed the scent of wild trees to neighboring lots, where thick bushes offered up secret places to play. When the children grew up and moved away, their father, alone in the house, con...

Details House Held Up by Trees

TitleHouse Held Up by Trees
Release DateMar 27th, 2012
PublisherCandlewick Press
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Environment, Nature

Reviews House Held Up by Trees

  • David Schaafsma
    Rereading for Spring 2018 cli fi class.Ted Kooser was U. S. poet laureate 2004-2006. I've been reading his poetry, and saw this, which is not poetry, but which I absolutely loved, a picture book with gorgeous art by one of my favorite illustrators, Jon Klaasen. I am also reading Eaarth, by Bill McKibben, which has has helped confirm my view that within a century or two the planet will be here and we humans will very very likely be gone. So this b...
  • Calista
    Mellon Collie, this story sets a mood. My niece sad, this story makes me feel sad. The story evokes many emotions without really trying. I think he does it by putting meaning in the house by the people who live there. The house doesn't have awareness, but we know it is all lone. It is very poetic and interesting how the author does this. The art is lovely and sparse. It adds to the tone of the book. Nature will reclaim her space after we are gone...
  • Hilary
    We really didn't like this story. Two children live with their father, their mother is not around. Whilst their Dad is obsessed with keeping a tidy lawn the children play in the woods. The children grow up and move away, eventually their father follows and puts the house up for sale.We found this a depressing read. Similar in theme to The Green Ship, dealing with loss and time passing but without any joy to balance the sadness. There seemed to be...
  • Lisa Vegan
    Absolutely stunning! It has gorgeous illustrations and an emotionally powerful story. It touched me deeply. For some reason the last page disappointed me, just a bit. I’m not sure how I would have preferred it to end.But, who is this for?! It’s for me; I loved it. I would have loved it as an older child too. But, it’s extremely sad, maybe even depressing, and I don’t know if it’s for young kids. Perhaps thoughtful and introspective kids...
  • Cheryl
    I was so excited for this. But I'm totally disappointed. Is it because I grew up in the country and am so familiar that with woods taking over old houses that it seems boring to talk about it? Not really, because I love the video in which Kooser talks about this book: Is it because I enjoyed that video, and naturally wanted the book to be even more moving and richer? Is it because I read the poem Kooser r...
  • Arminzerella
    This was unexpectedly sad – I was imagining whimsical forest tree houses from the cover art. A single-parent dad raises his two children in an isolated house with an immaculate lawn (which he keeps in check). The kids love the nearby forest and spend much of their time there. When they are older, they leave home and dad decides to move into town so that he’s not so alone. The house (and lawn) is abandoned (he tries to sell it, but there are n...
  • Mir
    A quiet and lonely little picture book, recommended for children who are not melancholy.
  • Abigail
    "Not far from here, I have seen a house held up by the hands of trees. This is its story." So reads the brief note on the title page of this lovely, contemplative picture-book from poet Ted Kooser, the United States Poet Laureate from 2004 through 2006. In simple but evocative language, Kooser relates the house's story, from the time it was first built, with its scrupulously kept lawn, through its years as the family home of a man and his two chi...
  • Kristen
    My coworker (a teen librarian) and I got into a talk about "librarian books" versus "books kids actually like." There is (obviously) a lot of crossover here, but I feel like there are some books that win awards and every librarian I know loves but that don't really entice children or teens. This felt like one of those books to me. The illustrations are amazing. I love Klassen. LOVE HIM! And the fact that he made 3 books last year that I would hav...
  • Jason
    My expectations for this book very high, and, alas, they were dashed as I read this book. I love Ted Kooser's poetry, so I was beside myself when I learned he had written two children's books. The first one (Bag in the Wind) was nice enough, but I found it to be boring.With a title like HOUSE HELD UP BY TREES, I thought this title had a lot more potential. The book, however, is sad and depressing. Who is Kooser's audience here? The story follows ...
  • Raina
    Beautiful lyrical story that appeals to my treehugging roots.Read with: Our Tree Named SteveThe Night Gardener by Terry Fan Grandpa Green
  • Joe
    I love Ted Kooser's poetry but, come on man, this is not a story for children. The idea of a house lifted into the air by trees could be both humorous and awe-inspiring, but here both text and pictures are somber and boring. Reading this book to my grandson would be like taking the kid to a funeral.
  • Paul Hankins
    An older house, fallen into disrepair, is supported by the trees that grow around it and eventually hold it aloft within their branches. In 2010, Ted Kooser gave us BAG IN THE WIND (Candlewick). I had always wanted really good things to happen to and for that title which was illustrated by Barry Root. I thought Kooser's prose read like pure poetry and Roots's illustrations could have stood completely alone, which made the whole of the title so sp...
  • Michele
    Haunting story with beautiful illustrations. A house with a rather energetically mowing father is eventually abandoned and the trees quite literally and realistically take it over, until the last page, where there is a slight leap into the magical. One of the things I like best about the book was that the trees feel a bit menacing, particularly with the dark illustrations. Some children will likely find this story scary. I found this book with it...
  • Melissa
    Very lyrical, imaginative, with lovely illustrations. I love that this can stand on its own as a fable-y experience, but also that it could be so powerful to introduce this as a text to a young writer along with this video ( and discuss the provenance of ideas, and how inspiration takes artists from what they know to someplace new.NYT Best Illustrated 2012
  • Anna
    Beautiful illustrations and a story that seems really sad sometimes -- but I loved it.
  • Danielle
    Hypnotic when read aloud. Quiet and beautiful. Less of a story, more just sort of is.
  • Hannah Jayne
    Art speaks to my soul more than words do. But this put art and words together quite well. I love it very much. It’s sad. It’s life. It’s beautiful.
  • Monica Edinger
    Gorgeous, text and image.
  • Rebecca
    What a strange, sad, poetic book. Perfect color palette for the story. I love Jon Klassen's illustrations.
  • Christie Angleton
    Utterly stunning Jon Klassen illustrations, but the text is a bore. I’m not sure of this book’s intended audience.
  • Grace
    This book was alright. I had high expectations since I've had it on my To Read list for a long time.My fiance and I read it in the children's section sitting at the little table in the little chairs.The illustrations were emotional and dynamic. The most striking one to me was the one which showed the father after his children had grown up and left, and he finally took a break and rested. And the sun was setting and its vibrant orange was the only...
  • Joanna Marple
    The sentence under the title reads: Not far from here, I have seen a house held up by the hands of tree. This is its story. While ostensibly about a family, this is the story of a (tree) house on a cleared plot of land. In quiet, contemplative, poetic prose (are we surprised from a poet laureate?) Kooser draws you into these natural surroundings and their subtle persistent lure and power.“Beneath the trees were bushes so thickly woven together ...
  • Barbara
    Just as I loved Bag in the Wind by the same author for its themes and lovely language, I have fallen in love with this book as well. There's something about the inevitable passage of time and nature's ability to heal the wounds created by humanity that stays with me even after I've put this book on my shelves. A house stands alone on a lot where all the trees have been cleared. But there are trees on both sides of the lot where the two children w...
  • Eliza
    1. “The title of this book is House Held up by Trees. After looking at the cover, what can you predict happens to make this house sit atop a group of trees? (student responses) This story today illustrates an example of how humans can attempt to control the natural world, which is another example of how populations and ecosystems affect one another. This book is written by Ted Koozer who once served as the US poet laureate. He uses a lot of ima...
  • Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
    HOUSE HELD UP BY TREES is a wonderful book. Jon Klassen's artwork is perfect for poetry of Ted Kooser's prose. And I very much liked the story. In fact, I think this would be a fabulous book to use in Middle Grade literature classes where you are trying to drag some conversation out of kids, while trying to explain to them the power of language.THAT SAID, it's not a book I'd read to younger children. It's not that it's objectionable in any way, b...
  • Jim Erekson
    What a remarkable story. None of the people had to learn a lesson, and they just got to live their lives. The house stayed there at the center of the story, and the clearing away of trees was eventually subverted by them taking the house. A bit dark!Re-reading this through themes of rural life: The civilized country life is achieved by clearing away wild trees. Sweeping panoramas in the first part of the book are dominated by grass, and punctuate...
  • Sue Smith
    This is a kids book that is told as much by the illustrations as it is by the words. In some ways, even more so. It's taking something you've seen and creating a story of how it came to be that way. Of how that writer reached into their imagination or experience and thought how it could have happened. And if that is the case, then Ted Kooser had a desolate childhood. Or knew of someone who did.Thankfully the illustrations make it ok and show the ...
  • Stan
    This is a sentimental story, tender but not really heartwarming. The main character is the house. We never learn much about the house or the family that lives there other than the children grew up, and the father persistently cares for the yard and keeps trees from growing. Yet, I felt sadness when the house was abandoned; there is a lot that can be read between the lines of this story. I would expect as much from a good poet like Kooser. Jon Kla...
  • Holly Mueller
    Amazing illustrations, of course, because Jon Klassen did them! The story is about a house that was built on a square of earth, and all the trees were cut down to make room for it. The two children who grew up there played among the trees that surrounded it and watched their father meticulously work on the lawn. As the years go by, the surrounding trees' seeds would blow onto the lawn, but the father would pluck out any sprouts that took root. Fi...