cover image My Tree

My Tree

Hope Lim, illus. by Il Sung Na. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4338-3

It’s not a person or an animal who comforts Lim’s (I Am a Bird) child narrator, who has newly arrived in the United States from Korea. It’s a tree outside the new home’s back door—one with a graceful trunk and strong branches that are full of plums—that “reminded me of the persimmon tree that shaded our porch in Korea.” Named Plumee by the child, the tree offers something in every season: blossoms, shade, fruit, and beauty. And then a storm fells it. “An old tree knows how to lie down when it’s time,” the child’s grandmother back in Korea says, a phrase that helps the child confront loss and gain comfort. Na (That’s My Carrot) gives this quiet story heft and drama with bold, crisped-edged forms; saturated hues; and feathery details. The spreads flow into each other, carrying much of the story’s emotional weight. Lim, meanwhile, crafts this story with a tree-scale sense of time, paying homage to an arboreal marker of the past and offering hope that stretches out into the future. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Tanusri Prasanna, Foundry Literary + Media. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (May) [/em]