cover image Nell Plants a Tree

Nell Plants a Tree

Anne Wynter, illus. by Daniel Miyares. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-286577-9

Toggling between two timelines, Wynter (Everybody in the Red Brick Building) tells a warm, affectionate story behind a cherished pecan tree and an intergenerational family. In an opening sequence, several Black-presenting children, including one wearing a pair of sturdy overalls, enjoy rural pleasures: climbing a huge pecan tree, resting on a wide farmhouse porch, and reveling in just-baked pecan pie. In the other timeline, the Nell of the title, who wears an old-fashioned yellow dress, finds a seed, buries it in a pot, and tends the resultant sapling until it can be planted outside. Deliberately paced page turns reveal that the pecan tree the children are climbing is the same one Nell planted, and that Nell, much older, is now the matriarch of a large, lively family. Pen and ink, gouache, and collage artwork by Miyares (Big and Small and In-Between) exudes the golden light of autumn, and prose by Wynter shimmers with evocative sense words—it’s almost possible to smell the pie. Creators’ notes conclude. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator’s agency: Studio Goodwin Sturges. (Jan.)