cover image Jacob's Tree

Jacob's Tree

Holly Keller, Author Greenwillow Books $15 (24p) ISBN 978-0-688-15995-5

Jacob is tired of being ""too small,"" unable to keep up with his older siblings. The little bear takes his vitamins, drinks his milk, waits and waits, and still, according to the mark on the elm tree in his yard, he doesn't grow. Keller (Brave Horace) uses repetition and a deft choice of detail to evoke Jacob's frustration: ""He hated it when Rose picked apples and he couldn't reach. He hated it when he was the only one who couldn't get to the top of the jungle gym."" Her illustrations show the elm losing its leaves, snow-covered and, finally, with its branches erupting in buds until Jacob's patience finally pays off: the parting shot shows him perched proudly on the jungle gym. Keller's black ink and watercolor artwork tenderly charts Jacob's progress in a tale that reassures little ones they won't be small forever. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)