This inspiring conservation story chronicles the life of Adoette, the hundred-year-old oak tree that grew in the street where Grandad, the story’s narrator lived. When the houses were first built it was small – the only green in the street. The first residents of the houses grew up with the tree, children played in the street and the tree was part their lives.
(An almost completely greyscale spread shows a child up in the branches looking down on a wedding party below) But with the passing years, life become busier, more hectic, the resident population more diverse, and for some, the tree became a nuisance – in the way. Some people became anti-Adoette – we see the paving stones being forced apart by her roots and branches growing very close to some of the houses. Other people loved the tree and did all they could to protect her but eventually, Adoette was felled. For those who championed the tree, the street felt diminished, a dismal place. Something green was needed to restore harmony and happiness among the resident. Yes, nothing of the physical tree but a stump remained but the manner in which Adoette had grown from small beginnings planted an idea and a vital lesson was generated for everyone: nothing is ever entirely hopeless if people are kind and caring – that way lies future hope. So it is for this community who come together to transform the waste ground into something beautiful for all to share, in the centre of which a tiny oak tree is planted, grown from one of Adoette’s acorns.
The seed for this ultimately uplifting book grew out of the author’s participation in a campaign to prevent the unnecessary felling of 10, 000 street trees in her hometown of Sheffield. Much of the story is shown in the immediately recognisable, detailed illustrations of street life through the ages.