cover image The Little Nut Tree

The Little Nut Tree

Sally Gardner. Tambourine Books, $14 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13297-2

Gardner takes a traditional nonsense rhyme and spins it into a full-blown story in this effervescent picture book about a girl, her magical tree and the Spanish princess to whom she gives it. A former theatrical costume designer, Gardner has a flair for the dramatic: her tale, set in 1830s England, unfolds through a series of delicately colored sketches, including a fold-out centerpiece that depicts the daughter of the Spanish king arriving in all her pomp and splendor. Dialogue balloons enhance the dynamic mood of the art. Brimming with historical detail, this gentle period piece strikes just the right balance between the fanciful and the realistic. Ages 4-up. (May)