In a far off country there is little but sun and sand, although in harvest time there is an abundance of fruit on a single tree that is owned by no one and everyone. The villagers respect this tree and love the baby girl they find there one day, hanging from its branches. She, like the tree, is loved by everyone and owned by no one. This child grows happily amongst the villagers but never speaks until the tree and the village are threatened by a stranger. Then the child’s words and actions save the people and the tree with the result that she becomes part of the bark and trunk of that lone tree.
The language of this book is as rich and colourful as the artwork. There’s a sense of dusty, hot wide open spaces and unyielding sand. There’s a feeling of poverty but deep joy and the message of respect for living things and sharing the tree’s yield with animals is quietly powerful.
A satisfying book that will provoke thought and discussion, in the classroom and at home.