An Impactful Story of a Tree's Journey Through Life Has Lasting Outcomes on Three Generations of Men and an Everlasting Friendship in a New Picture Book
KONA, Hawaii, Dec. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — When a young samara seed named Ash is brought by the winds to Boston he begins a voyage from a hearty park tree to a seafaring adventurer to an old wood craftsman’s legacy. In his introspective and tender story, Whittle Me This, author Clifford Banks masterfully depicts for young readers an affecting interpretation of the cycle of life and giving.
Ash’s early years have given him the joy of children swinging from his branches, a treehouse perched within his limbs, and a smitten older girl and boy who carved their initials within a heart into his bark. But when a Nor’easter and violent rain come, it ravages Ash and the tree ends up floating in the Mystic River where a beaver uses Ash for his dam.
Taken from the river to a shipyard, a paunchy man sees in Ash the perfect mast for his old sea captain father’s sailboat, Wendi. The old man, also a wood craftsman, uses his tools to fashion Ash into a majestic mast. As they set out to sea, it’s then that Ash meets the essence of Wendi, a sworn breath of wind bound to the vessel. Together Ash and Wendi experience many years of seafaring with the aging captain until the ailing old man must settle his joy for the sea in watching his young grandson, Grant, learn to sail.
Back in the Boston Harbor, a superstorm causes Ash’s mast to snap like a twig, giving Ash and Wendi pause to reminisce about their many years together exploring. The sea captain takes Ash once again to his wood shop where he creates what will be his lasting legacy, a baseball bat for his grandson, earning Ash a prominent place in baseball history—alongside his faithful seamate Wendi—and in the generations of lives he touched.
Reminiscent of enduring classics like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, Banks’s Whittle Me This uses reflective storytelling and cerebral language that families and educators of young children will enjoy themselves alongside their young readers with a parable that celebrates the metamorphosis of life and its relationships.
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SOURCE Clifford Banks