cover image Mum, Me, and the Mulberry Tree

Mum, Me, and the Mulberry Tree

Tanya Rosie, illus. by Chuck Groenink. Candlewick, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2035-3

A youth affectionately recounts an annual mother-child outing to harvest a tree’s bounty in this sweetly anticipatory picture book; “I fasten my buttons and tie my own laces./ Mum holds out a hand, strong and steady.” Loosely rhyming verse by Rosie, making her picture book debut, traces every step of the trip—the “knee to knee” bus ride there, the walk with “buckets and tubs” across the field to the great tree, and the moment of arrival: “We’re here! We’re here!/ Mum and me.” It’s a mulberry tree, the branches heavy with purple fruit, which the two climb, picking, eating, and dripping juice on themselves. Mixed-media spreads and vignettes by Groenink (Only One) give subtle romance to the sunlight that dapples the old tree’s magnificent branches, the great billowing clouds over softly rolling countryside landscapes, and the golden glint of sunset as the two, who present as white, travel home for a second adventure in the kitchen. Lyrical text, meanwhile, underlines parental affection and steadiness from the child’s point of view: “Mum saves her most purple for me.” Ages 3–7. (July)