Pearl and her grandfather plant an apple seed and nurture it throughout the year-giving it just the right kind of attention for each of its stages of growth. This softly illustrated picture book speaks to the cycles of nature and life while also introducing the multicultural aspects of tree planting celebrations and customs. The pastel watercolors that illustrate this successful story are beautifully framed and graphically intricate. And, if the fact that Pearl and her grandfather are portrayed here as sheep strikes a jarring note, it's the only one that disturbs the pastoral calm.
PreS-Gr 2-On a nostalgic trip to his first home in America, Pearl's grandfather shows her a tree that he planted. This inspires Pearl to plant her own, beginning with an apple seed that she pots and tends over the long cold winter, all the while dreaming of picnics under a fruit-laden tree. The first leaves poke through in time for Pearl and Grandpa to plant the seedling outside come spring. This is a quiet, poetic story with romantic, meticulously detailed illustrations to enhance the mood. Zalben adds a page on tree-planting holidays throughout the world, a page on the Jewish tree-planting holiday, Tu b'Shvat, and another of midrashim, talmudic stories about how to grow a tree. A satisfying addition, featuring very humanlike sheep characters, for religious and secular collections.-Marcia W. Posner, Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County, Glen Cove, NY