Reviews for Apple Tree's Discovery

Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #2
A familiar "star inside the apple" story is reworked to include the themes of self-worth and confidence, couched in a divine message. Surrounded by large oaks, a lonely little apple tree looks up and sees the twinkling of stars, which appear to be hanging from the tops of the oak branches. With each passing season, she begs God for the same: "I want more than anything in the world to have stars. Then I would feel truly special." Even as her own fragrant blossoms turn into tasty apples, little apple tree persists in her wish, while God encourages patience. It is only after God becomes exasperated and creates a hard wind that forces some apples to fall and split open, revealing their own internal "star," that the little apple tree realizes and happily accepts her own attributes. Watercolor paintings of a saccharine forest environment with smiling critters and grinning tree trunks dilute the increasingly strenuous responses from God, who waits for some implied recognition of his overall message. And while the apple tree finally understands, children will require some follow through to completely comprehend the forced moral, which is spelled out in the afterword. Strained. (Picture book/religion. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 June

PreS-Gr 3--A little apple tree, alone in a forest of tall oaks, marvels at how the stars in the sky seem to be hanging on the branches of the other trees. "Oh God," it whispers, "I want more than anything in the world to have stars." God encourages the little tree to be grateful for its fragrant blossoms, branches that offer a resting place for birds, the shade it provides to weary travelers, and its delicious fruit. But the tree continues to plead for stars so that it will feel truly special. God finally causes a strong wind to blow, knocking the tree's apples from its branches. When they hit the ground, they split open, revealing a small star in the center of each one. The universal lesson of self-acceptance--that we must look hard to find the stars hidden in each of us--is accessible to young children but will also resonate with older readers. However, the childlike font and whimsical watercolor illustrations, with a smiley face painted on the apple tree, sweet cartoon forest animals, and munchkinlike people, do not match the more sophisticated message of the story and will unfortunately limit its appeal to preschool audiences.--Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL

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