Planting a birthday tree has enduring effects in this poignant tale of a roving boy's link to nature -- and the roots of his family's love.
When baby Jack arrives, his father and mother plant an apple seedling to honor his birth. As Jack grows taller, so does the tree. When Jack is happy, the tree limbs stand straight and proud. When he is cold, the leaves tremble on their stems. But one day Jack's parents awake to find his bed empty. When they see a gull perched atop the tree, they realize that their Jack has run away to sea. Paul Fleischman's lyrical prose and Barry Root's magical illustrations tell the story of a boy's powerful connection to his family despite distance -- and adds new meaning to the old custom of planting a birthday tree.
About the Author
Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California in a house with a printing press, a grand piano, a shortwave radio, and his father--children's author Sid Fleischman. Playing recorder in early music consorts led to his books of verbal duets--I Am Phoenix, Joyful Noise (winner of the 1989 Newbery Medal), and Big Talk. His novels built from monologues include Bull Run, a 16-character account of the Civil War's first battle, and Seedfolks--the chronicle of the first year of a Cleveland community garden. His interest in theater inspired his young adult novels Mind's Eye, Seek, and Breakout, all of which revolve around the spoken word. His historical fiction includes Saturnalia and The Borning Room. He's written nonfiction and picture books as well, including Time Train, Weslandia, and Sidewalk Circus.Alongside the Newbery Medal, he's won a Newbery Honor Book, the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, the PEN West Literary Award, the California Young Reader Medal, and most recently was a finalist for the 2003 National Book Award. He makes his home in the village of Aromas, California.
Barry Root is the illustrator of many books for children, including "Gumbrella, " which he also wrote; Dream Big"; "By My Brother's Side"; and "Game Day", which received a Christopher Award in the category of books for young people. He lives with his family in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.