I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree

Groundwood/House of Anansi. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781773062204.
PreS-Gr 2–A little girl exploring her world notices her shadow for the first time and finds it marvelous. It can be in front of her, on her side, or following behind. It even follows her outside into the snowy day. There, her attention turns to the wind; she hears it whispering through the trees and creating sounds all around her that make her think of stories. She imagines hungry wolves all around, but remembers that wolves like stories and happily calms them with a tale. She tastes the snowflakes that carry the flavor of clouds and feels their icy touch as they prickle her cheeks. Then she notices that the cherry tree, deep in the snowy landscape, has buds on it. Shadows and the wind are always there and so are the buds of a cherry tree.The beautiful illustrations are rendered primarily in earth tones with eye-pleasing textures added. Yet, in the middle there is a puzzling Red Riding Hood element with wolves, darker art, and the story line about stories calming agitated wolves.
VERDICT Despite a disjointed path—from the sensory exploration to the meditation on wolves—this additional purchase may encourage little ones to let their imaginations run wild while encountering the world.

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