When a young girl chooses a tree as a pet, she won’t be dissuaded or discouraged by people’s comments.
And there are many, starting with her family members when Abigail makes her wish for a pet tree known before blowing out her seven birthday candles. But she neutralizes them all with clever counterarguments. At a nursery, Abigail chooses “Fido,” a dogwood in a gray pot, and the two are inseparable. Socks adorn the tree’s branches on laundry day, and during a tea party, she reads aloud to her stuffed animals, one of them perched in Fido’s crook. Abigail even takes Fido on long walks (in a wagon), which garners them more looks and comments and questions. Unflappable Abigail fields them all. But what she can’t counter is the fact that Fido is growing, shown gradually in Gendron’s detailed illustrations. The only thing to do is plant Fido in the yard, but Abigail can’t leave her best friend…until, after a night spent in his branches, she realizes that Fido won’t be lonely with all the new friends he’s made outdoors. It’s refreshing to see a child stand up for her choice in positive ways, especially since most readers are likely to think that choice an odd one. Abigail and her family have light brown skin; the few other humans are diverse.
Takes tree-hugging—and standing up for yourself—to a new level. (Picture book. 4-8)