cover image All from a Walnut

All from a Walnut

Ammi-Joan Paquette, illus. by Felicita Sala. Abrams, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5002-1

When a single walnut appears on Emilia’s nightstand one morning, her grandfather tells her “the best of stories” about the walnut he plucked from the tree outside his home “near a lake called Como” and brought to the country where the family now lives. “This nut?” Emilia asks about the walnut she’s holding. “Not this one,” he explains, detailing how he carried his in a pocket, rooted it in a pot, then took it with him until he had a garden in which to plant it. His walnut eventually grew into the huge tree that now guards their backyard, towering over a smaller one—“your mother’s.” Emilia’s walnut will become the original’s next generation, and her grandfather shows her how to nurture it as he begins to slow down. Domestic and travelogue scenes in Sala’s (Be a Tree!) jewelbox colors distinguish the light brown–skinned family’s story in images of Grandpa’s white moustache, his jaunty cap, and the green, growing things he loves. One day, when his chair is empty, watching her own walnut flourish gives Emilia a way to think about his death: “They would always be a part of each other.” Paquette (Mucky Truck) captures the personal-feeling family story with a poignant immediacy that also enshrines respect for the family’s legacy. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Productions. (Mar.)