Author: Joy Kogawa
Illustrator: Ruth Ohi
Fitzhenry and Whiteside
A Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Best Books” Selection.
Shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association (CLA) “Amelia Francis Howard-Gibbon Award”.
A young couple leaves Japan for the coast of Canada, bringing a cherry seed to plant in their new garden. During the years that follow, the little cherry tree watches over the family as the couple have children, and then grandchildren. Young Naomi makes the cherry tree her special friend, and the tree’s branches shelter her as she plays. But one day, war breaks out between the two countries, and the family is sent to an internment camp away from the coast. And though Naomi often dreams of going home, the dream fades as the years go by. The little tree is left behind to mourn its loss.
For many years the cherry tree sends out a song of love and peace that reaches Naomi only in her dreams.
But the insects and small animals hear the song, and on the wind they send back their own messages to the tree, assuring it that Naomi is safe and that one day she will return. And when she does, the tree will be waiting for her.
Based on the World War II story of Naomi and Stephen in Naomi’s Road, Naomi’s Tree is a poetic story about enduring love and its almost mystical power to heal the spirit.
“The book’s text and illustrations contain both beauty and grace. Recommended”
“Remininscent of Shel Silverstein’s classic, “The Giving Tree”, this is a beautiful testament to friendship and the healing power of nature. Combined with Ohi’s lush pencil and watercolour illustrations–especially those of the tree in bloom–”Naomi’s Tree” is a solid pick for all school-age picture book collections.”