A moving, multigenerational story about love, family roots, and the cycle of life
When Emilia finds a walnut one morning, Grandpa tells her the story behind it: of his journey across the ocean to a new home, with only one small bag and a nut in his pocket.
“I planted my little tree in good brown soil, so it would grow strong here forever.” “In this house? In this yard?” “Shall we go see?”
Step by step, Grandpa teaches Emilia how to cultivate her own seed. But as her little nut grows, Grandpa begins to slow down—until one sad day, Emilia has to say goodbye. Emilia’s sapling looks as droopy as she feels . . . but she knows just what to do.
From acclaimed author and illustrator Ammi-Joan Paquette and Felicita Sala, this tender story is a poignant reminder that the best things grow with time—and that even when they are no longer here, the ones we love are always a part of us.
About the Author
Ammi-Joan Paquette is the author of many books for young readers. After living in many countries all over the world, she has now settled in the Boston area with her family and many towering piles of books. When she looks out of her back windows, all she can see are trees. Felicita Sala is the self-taught illustrator of several picture books, including Be a Tree! by Maria Gianferrari and The Hideout by Susanna Mattiangeli, as well as her own book of recipes for children, What's Cooking at 10 Garden Street?. She grew up between Italy and Australia and now lives in Rome, Italy, with her family.
Felicita Sala is a self-taught illustrator. She has illustrated several picture books, including the award-winning She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton, and The Hideout by Susanna Mattiangeli, as well as her own book of recipes for children, What's Cooking at 10 Garden Street? She grew up between Italy and Australia and now lives in Rome with her family.
**STARRED REVIEW** "Captures the personal-feeling family story with a poignant immediacy that also enshrines respect for the family’s legacy." — Publishers Weekly
"The warmhearted watercolor, gouache, and colored-pencil illustrations are the true highlight of the book, offering lovingly rendered images of Sala’s native Italy and a poignant view of Grandpa’s aging and eventual passing... A glowingly illustrated exploration of immigration, family bonds, and human resilience." — Kirkus Reviews
"Paquette’s emotive writing is strong and clear. . .Sala’s paintings, in shades of green, gold, and sepia, are equally effective." — The Horn Book Magazine
"Full-page spreads done in watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil depict a cozy home, the distinctive individual family members, and the close relationship between Emilia and her grandfather. At book’s end, the warm greens and browns of the majestic tree confirm the comforting message of how the circle of life illuminates an enduring love between generations." — Booklist