My Tree

Holiday House/Neal Porter. May 2021. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823443383.
K-Gr 2–A young South Korean boy, new to America, moves with his parents and dog into a house with a “tall, crooked, quiet” plum tree in the backyard. He names it Plumee, waters it, and grows to love the tree as it is a great place to hide and it offers shade, blossoms, soothing noise in the wind, and delicious purple plums. Through four seasons, Plumee helps stave off the child’s homesickness as it reminds him of a tree he knew in his homeland. One night a terrible storm knocks over many trees in the city and Plumee is one of them. The child is sad to lose his close companion but he and the neighborhood kids use their imaginations to turn the fallen tree into a ship, an island, and a rocket until it has to be cut up and removed from the yard. His understanding parents soon plant a young plum tree in the same spot and the child quietly introduces himself to the new occupant. Colorful digital illustrations are filled with small details and reveal the massive tree and the child’s love for it.
VERDICT This tale of a boy’s devotion and regard for the natural world is quietly endearing, and the young protagonist will be a comfort to others who have said goodbye to home.

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