cover image Survivor Tree

Survivor Tree

Marcie Colleen, illus. by Aaron Becker. Little, Brown, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-48767-2

Observing the 20th anniversary of 9/11, this nonfiction picture book follows a Callery pear tree, growing “at the foot of the towers” for almost 30 years, that was rescued from the rubble following the attacks. Colleen frames the narrative through the tree’s seasonal displays (“Winter, spring, summer, fall. Bare, white, green, red”) and its history, employing spare, elegant prose as she traces its journey before its uprooting, its decade of recovery in the Bronx’s Arthur Ross Nursery, and its replanting at the 9/11 Memorial: “The/ tree/ hesitated/ to/ fill/ the/ empty/ sky.” Rendered in watercolor and colored pencil, lush illustrations by Caldecott Honoree Becker realistically reflect the city setting and the story’s natural elements while leaving space for images of a varied array of human characters. A sensitive, accessible entry point into a relatively recent tragedy. Back matter includes more information on the Survivor Tree and notes from the creators. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)