When a young boy's beloved plum tree falls in a storm, he feels like he's lost both a friend and a connection to his old home.
A young boy, recently arrived from Korea, finds a glorious plum tree in his new backyard. It reminds him of a tree his family had back home, and he names it Plumee for the deep purple plums on its branches. Whenever the boy is homesick, he knows he can take shelter in Plumee's tall branches. And when a storm brings the old tree down, he and his friends have all kinds of adventures on its branches, as it becomes a dragon, a treehouse, and a ship in their imaginations. But soon it's time to say goodbye when the remains of the tree are taken away. Before long, a new plum tree is planted, new blossoms bloom, and a new friendship takes root.
A South Korean immigrant herself, Hope Lim brings her perspective on the struggle for child immigrants to feel at home to bear through spare, poetic text, perfectly matched by soft, lyrical illustrations by Korean artist Il Sung Na.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Lim and Na’s collaboration has captured the essence of quiet immigrant resilience. Transcending time and place, this gentle book will take root in many hearts. (Picture book. 4-8).
Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission.
It's not a person or an animal who comforts Lim's (I Am a Bird) child narrator, who has newly arrived in the United States from Korea. It's a tree outside the new home's back door--one with a graceful trunk and strong branches that are full of plums--that "reminded me of the persimmon tree that shaded our porch in Korea." Named Plumee by the child, the tree offers something in every season: blossoms, shade, fruit, and beauty. And then a storm fells it. "An old tree knows how to lie down when it's time," the child's grandmother back in Korea says, a phrase that helps the child confront loss and gain comfort. Na (That's My Carrot) gives this quiet story heft and drama with bold, crisped-edged forms; saturated hues; and feathery details. The spreads flow into each other, carrying much of the story's emotional weight. Lim, meanwhile, crafts this story with a tree-scale sense of time, paying homage to an arboreal marker of the past and offering hope that stretches out into the future. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Tanusri Prasanna, Foundry Literary + Media. Illustrator's agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (May)Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
K-Gr 2--A young South Korean boy, new to America, moves with his parents and dog into a house with a "tall, crooked, quiet" plum tree in the backyard. He names it Plumee, waters it, and grows to love the tree as it is a great place to hide and it offers shade, blossoms, soothing noise in the wind, and delicious purple plums. Through four seasons, Plumee helps stave off the child's homesickness as it reminds him of a tree he knew in his homeland. One night a terrible storm knocks over many trees in the city and Plumee is one of them. The child is sad to lose his close companion but he and the neighborhood kids use their imaginations to turn the fallen tree into a ship, an island, and a rocket until it has to be cut up and removed from the yard. His understanding parents soon plant a young plum tree in the same spot and the child quietly introduces himself to the new occupant. Colorful digital illustrations are filled with small details and reveal the massive tree and the child's love for it. VERDICT This tale of a boy's devotion and regard for the natural world is quietly endearing, and the young protagonist will be a comfort to others who have said goodbye to home.--Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek P.L., WICopyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.