All from a Walnut by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Felicita Sala

Published by Harry N. Abrams

Summary:  When Emilia wakes up to find a walnut on her nightstand, she asks Grandpa if he has a story for her.  He tells her how he immigrated to the United States as a boy, bringing with him a nut from a walnut tree.  When he got to America, he planted it, moving the pot it was in when his family moved, and eventually planting in the yard of the house he and his wife bought.  Now there are two trees, a smaller one planted by Emilia’s mother as a girl.  Grandpa helps Emilia plant the walnut she found.  It flourishes under her care, but at the same time Grandpa grows weaker, until finally, Emilia has to say good-bye to him.  When she notices her sapling looking “as droopy as she felt,” she decides to transplant it next to the other two trees in the yard.  She knows that one day, she will give a walnut to her own child to begin a new tree.  40 pages; grades K-4.

Pros:  A beautiful story that explores grief and loss but also looks at how life continues with each new generation.

Cons:  The new tree looked like it was planted too close to the bigger trees.

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