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Cover for The Birthday Tree

The Birthday Tree

Paul Fleischman, Barry Root (Illustrator)


List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Planting a birthday tree has enduring effects in this poignant tale of a roving boy’s link to nature — and the roots of his family’s love.

When baby Jack arrives, his father and mother plant an apple seedling to honor his birth. As Jack grows taller, so does the tree. When Jack is happy, the tree limbs stand straight and proud. When he is cold, the leaves tremble on their stems. But one day Jack’s parents awake to find his bed empty. When they see a gull perched atop the tree, they realize that their Jack has run away to sea. Paul Fleischman’s lyrical prose and Barry Root’s magical illustrations tell the story of a boy’s powerful connection to his family despite distance — and adds new meaning to the old custom of planting a birthday tree.

Candlewick, 9780763626044, 40pp.

Publication Date: March 25, 2008

About the Author

Paul Fleischman won the Newbery Medal for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices and a Newbery Honor for Graven Images. Among his award-winning picture books are Sidewalk CircusThe Animal Hedge, and Weslandia. He lives in Aromas, California.

Barry Root has illustrated many books for children, including The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup by Terry Farish. He lives in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.