The Sugar Plum Tree stands at the heart of a magical garden—a wonderland for children with good imaginations—in this debut children’s tale.
This picture book is the work of three sisters, working together under the pen name Katherine James. According to the authors, they based it on a bedtime story they were told many times throughout their childhood, in which they traveled to a world made of candy in their dreams. The next morning, they would wake to find that some candy returned with them, in the form of goody bags that they’d find under their beds. Clearly, this book is intended as a bedtime story, as it begins with the phrase, “Come little child cuddle closer to me / as you lay your sleepy head down,” and later adds, “Now sleep little child, dream all through the night to make your wishes come true.” The Garden of Shut-Eye Town, where the Sugar Plum Tree resides, is a candy-loving child’s fantasy, full of chocolates, lollipops, “fizzy pops and zippity-zaps.” The tree itself bursts with as much candy as a child could want. It’s too high to climb, but luckily, a chocolate cat and gingerbread dog are there to help children out. In order to accurately mirror the authors’ childhood tradition, the book closes with a promise of more candy to come: “And when you awake, tradition has said magically there will be / candy treasures beneath your bed, for those who believe... / in the Sugar Plum Tree.” The verse is paired with bold, colorful illustrations. Here, the focus is on the candy, and the bright, cartoonish images make it hard to miss; children, as well as the aforementioned cat and dog, appear largely at the periphery. Although the overall story might be too saccharine for some readers, the bright colors and verse effectively depict the magical land. However, the book does make a promise that parents might be expected to keep when the story is done.
A bright, bold picture book about a world of sweets.