Title: The Trees Have Hearts | Author: Mrs. D | Illustrator: Juli Hasegawa | Publication Date: March 31, 2014 | Publisher: Mrs.D. Books Publisher | Number of pages: 41 | Recommended age: 5 to 10
Summary: A Mom’s Choice Award Winner
The story of a young girl, left friendless because she could not speak a new language, will touch your heart. It will take your child into the imaginary world of a little girl who moved to America from a different country. Unable to speak English, the lonely girl could not find friends. She lived in an old house with a small garden, where three blooming trees and the mysterious wind became her first imaginary friends. The garden friends developed a wonderful friendship with the lonely girl, and helped her overcome her fears and worries. Through the story, they taught her how to make real friends and helped her cope with difficult moments while adapting to new surroundings. Unforgettable characters will open a beautiful imaginary world to young readers, inviting them to share the fears, tears and joys of a little girl. The story will teach the true meaning of friendship while showing readers the beauty of nature. This book will open an unknown imaginary world through the eyes of a child…
My Thoughts: There is something simply magical in the beautiful illustrations, the vivid and poetic descriptions of the landscapes, and the touching story of a young girl moving to America from a different country feeling isolated, homesick, and lonely. Mrs. D has weaved a heartwarming tale about a young girl who conjures up imaginary friends in Chance the plum tree, Shadow the cherry tree, Sassy the Magnolia tree, and the Old Wind. As the girl, (who remains nameless but whose story bears a striking resemblance to the author’s own personal history), shares her worries and fears with her loving new friends, things slowly begin to improve as she heads off to summer camp and connects with other girls her own age.
While I can’t relate to the fear and anxiety that occurs when someone (especially a child) moves to a country where people do not speak their language, I can fully relate to the calming effect of being immersed in your natural environment. I grew up in a similar setting surrounded by big beautiful trees, sweeping meadows, a huge expanse of mowed lawn, and multiple gardens containing a variety of colorful flowers. I could easily escape in the beauty of my surroundings and always felt at ease when soaking in the smells, sounds, and sights. Underlying the story of the young girl’s experience is the message concerning the importance and beauty of nature. Of course, I don’t suffer from allergies in the spring, so perhaps not everyone would agree!
The book itself is visually beautiful and the illustrations are simply magical. I love the way the illustrator, Juli Hasegawa brings the trees to life by integrating the tree trunks, branches, leaves, and blossoms with the girls’ arms, legs, and hair to create a stunning scene. With this book, I could not imagine in my head what these trees would look like in the main character’s imagination; but, the images truly help tell the story. They are GORGEOUS!
This book is unlike any we’ve come across before in that it is truly a mix between a picture book and an early chapter book. With full page illustrations and a beautiful background on each page (making it like a picture book) and a higher word density (200+ words per page, making it an early chapter book), this book may not be for everyone. In our household, we don’t only read books, we also tell stories and I feel that this book is storytelling at its best. I asked both of my children and they both said the same thing: They loved the book! This is a perfect book to read at bedtime as it feeds children’s imaginations with its creativiy, its vivid descriptions, and its heartwarming story. I highly recommend this book to children, aged 5 to 10, who have the patience for storytelling.
This book was provided free-of-charge by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own. The author is participating in our Book Promotion Services.
About the Author: Mrs. D
Mrs. D. (Olga D’Agostino), an award-winning children’s author, was born in western Ukraine. She lived in the historical city of Lviv, where she studied business in Lviv Business College and worked in the food industry. In 1992, she immigrated to the USA with her two small daughters and for years worked in her own business. In 2011, she began her career as a writer, focusing on writing children’s books that have meaning and provide valuable lessons. Two of her children’s books, The Trees Have Hearts and Good Morning, World!, won Mom’s Choice Awards in 2013. She is a member of SCBWI and speaks a few languages fluently. She lives in the famous town of Smithville, NJ, with her husband Patrick and a meticulous old cat named Nyda.
Published books by Mrs. D. include Carlo the Mouse on Vacation, The Trees Have Hearts, The City Kittens and the Old House Cat, Good Morning, World!, and Carlo the Mouse, Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse and The Little Girl Praying on the Hill(a short story for an older audience).
Coming in 2014: The Royal Palm and Carlo the Mouse, Book 2: Now We’re Talking!
The full series of Carlo the Mouse and her new books, The Mysterious Life Inside a Closet, That Is How Things Are (two connected stories): The Autumn Wind, and The Kitten and the Sparrow, and three rhyming stories in Who Is Most Important in the Fridge? will be published in the near future. Her books are available in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as e-books for most popular electronic devices. For updates on Mrs. D.’s books, please visit her website: www.mrsdbooks.net.
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