An ode to trees and fruit in celebration of Tu B’Shevat, a Jewish holiday. Often occurring in the latter part of January or early February, Tu B’Shevat is also called “New Year of the Trees.”
The five double-page spreads show friends and family members planting trees, picking and eating tree fruit, and taking care of the planet as the holiday is observed in modern Israel and other parts of the world. The rhymed verse scans with a pleasing rhythm: “On Tu B’Shevat / we plant a tree. / Baskets of fruit / For you and me. // Orange, grapefruit / Peach or plum, / Lemon, mango, / Apple—yum!” The collagelike graphics in muted jewel tones are overlaid on wood grain (likely digitally simulated) with a blue or green wash. While some of the body postures and facial expressions are a bit stiff, it is refreshing to see a diverse group of children and adults engaged in the festivities. There are playful bits of humor in the art, evident in one scene in which a young boy pops out of a hole where a tree is about to be planted.
While commemorating only a minor holiday, this book is a gentle introduction for the youngest observers. (Board book. 2-4)