Mary Quattlebaum‘Tis the season for greening, growing, budding and blooming. The trees in my neighborhood now sport tufts of tender leaves like bright spring hairdos.

Yup, May is the month for digging, planting and tending new life. Are you and your kids planning a garden? Planting a tree?

That’s just what the little girl in A Tree for Emmy (Peachtree, ages 3 to 7) wants to do.

For her birthday, Emmy asks for a tree like her grandmother’s mimosa, with “strong low branches” for swinging and fuzzy pink blossoms. No one sells wild trees, alas, but Emmy does find a little “volunteer” right by Gramma’s tree. Carefully, she and Gramma dig it up and transplant it in Emmy’s yard. Though initially disappointed that the sprig can’t yet delight like her favorite mimosa, Emmy soon finds joy in caring for the sapling and imagining its growth.

This book is perfect for reading before, after or during a family Green Hour. Together, author Mary Ann Rodman and illustrator Tatjana Mai-Wyss have created a vibrant, gently humorous tale featuring two very engaging companions: a little girl and a baby tree, both of them “stubborn and strong and a little bit wild.”

Mary Quattlebaum is the author of 15 award-winning children’s books, including Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns (Random House) and two chapter-book sequels, all set in a city community garden. Check for activities connected with Mary’s books.

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Published: May 13, 2009