cover image The Great Dimpole Oak

The Great Dimpole Oak

Janet Taylor Lisle. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05716-2

This is an oddly affecting story about a mighty oak tree and its effects, over the course of a few days, on people as varied as an Indian swami and his massive entourage, a self-proclaimed town matriarch, the ailing owner of the land surrounding the tree and a couple of kids who want to even the score with the town bully. How Lisle brings all these people to the base of the oak tree on one grand Saturday is a feat of originality and plotting, with a Frank Capra-like happy ending. A beautifully orchestrated novel, this is short yet deeply satisfying. And Gammell's evocative black-and-white drawings of the tree and surrounding landscape are as dramatic and mysterious as the story itself. A Richard Jackson Book. Ages 9-11. (October)