Apple and Magnolia
2 Feb. 2022
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Unusual friendships can be the most powerful of all…
Britta’s two favourite trees, Apple and Magnolia, are best friends. Britta can’t explain how she is so sure about the friendship, but deep down in her heart, she knows it is true. Then, one day, Magnolia’s branches start to droop. Her bark grows patchy. Her leaves turn brown… Can Britta find a way to help Magnolia survive the cold winter months?
With glowing illustrations from illustrator Patricia Metola, this gentle story explores the mystery of trees, the magic of nature, and one girl’s hope, determination and nurturing spirit.
InformationBook Type: Picture Books
Age Group: 3 years +
Class Novel: No
Good Reads Rating: /5
Literary Rating: /5
Britta knows in her heart that her two favourite trees—an apple tree and a magnolia tree—are best friends. Her father doesn’t think that’s possible, and Britta’s older sister Bronwyn says it definitely isn’t. But Britta’s Nana says unusual friendships can be powerful, so when Magnolia looks like she might not survive the winter Britta sets to work. Between the two trees she hangs a scarf so they can share warmth, a string of lights so they can see each other, and a string with two cups so they can hear each other.
Over time Magnolia starts to grow closer to Apple—Britta knows because, with Nana’s help, she measures the gradually-closing gap each day that winter. And when Magnolia finally blooms in the spring, Britta knows that Apple helped her do it.
A sweet and imaginatively illustrated book which portrays the cooperative, interdependent relationships between trees. A short note at the beginning discusses the ways trees can help one another, such as by sharing nutrients and sending warning signals. While showing the unusual friendship between the two trees, the book also showcases the intergenerational relationship between Britta and her grandmother; with Nana’s encouragement, Britta’s interest in and care for the natural world grows and blossoms. Repetition is used to show the difference in the attitudes of Dad, Bronwyn, and Nana. Overall, a thought-provoking and warm read.