Mr. Tempkin Climbs a Tree

  • Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Grade 1

School’s out, and Marky looks forward to summer, including helping his friend and neighbor, Mr. Tempkin, with his garden. But when Mr. Tempkin’s plan to thwart the squirrels that have been raiding his birdfeeder goes awry, Marky learns how special a friendship can be.

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Interest Level Preschool - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 1
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2019
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2019-10-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV033020, JUV039220, JUV039280
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Lexile 570
ATOS Reading Level 2.6
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 503376
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator biography and Reviewed

Author: Cary Fagan

Cary Fagan is the award-winning author of many popular novels and picture books for kids. He is also the author of several novels and story collections for adults. Cary lives in Toronto.

Illustrator: Carles Arbat

Carles Arbat's greatest treasure as a child was his box of colored pencils. One day, he even colored the walls of his parents' dining room, which got him into a bit of trouble. He is a graduate of Olot's Art School in Graphic Design and the author of nine children's books. He lives in Barcelona.



“A satisfying, if somewhat introspective, addition to the friendship shelf.” — Kay Weisman

Jewish Book Council

This is a delight­ful pic­ture book that con­veys Jew­ish — and uni­ver­sal — themes of the impor­tance of inter­gen­er­a­tional friend­ship and help­ing one’s neigh­bors. The illus­tra­tions are bright­ly col­ored and con­tain many details for chil­dren to notice and focus on as they lis­ten to the sto­ry, or read it for them­selves. It is instruc­tive with­out being preachy and it has a hap­py ending.

Mr. Temp­kin is Marky’s next-door neigh­bor and, in the sum­mer, it is Marky’s job to water Mr. Tempkin’s beau­ti­ful flower gar­den. They enjoy each other’s com­pa­ny as Marky takes care of the flow­ers and Mr. Temp­kin tends to his bird feed­er, shar­ing his knowl­edge and appre­ci­a­tion of birds with his young friend. Marky is sur­prised that some­one so “old” can do so many things by him­self. One day Mr. Temp­kin over­es­ti­mates his abil­i­ty to climb a tree to prop­er­ly posi­tion his bird feed­er. He falls out of the tree and must be tak­en to the hos­pi­tal. Marky spends a long day anx­ious­ly wait­ing to see if his friend will be alright. Hap­pi­ly, Mr. Temp­kin returns home with just a ban­dage on his sprained ankle and Marky con­tin­ues to help him, with even more oppor­tu­ni­ties to assist such as push­ing the wheel­chair up the hill so Mr. Temp­kin can con­tin­ue to attend syn­a­gogue ser­vices every morn­ing. By the end of the sto­ry, Marky and Mr. Temp­kin have become good friends and Marky has learned much about inde­pen­dence, friend­ship, kind­ness, respon­si­bil­i­ty, and mitzvot.

This sto­ry is clear­ly writ­ten and easy to under­stand and the sophis­ti­cat­ed con­cepts are not over­ly sim­plis­tic. Read­er and lis­ten­er alike will iden­ti­fy with the char­ac­ters and appre­ci­ate the friend­ship between them despite their age difference.

Kirkus Reviews

“A gentle story with minimal intrigue and plenty of compassion highlights the beauty of intergenerational relationships.”—Kirkus Reviews