Editor’s Note: This is the kind of thing we’re really excited about here at Story Warren. This gets to the heart of who we are and what we want to be. We want to create (The Green Ember) and connect, because the bottom line is we want to be your allies. Liz has not only created wonderful book reviews here at SW every month, but she and her family are doing amazing work at Living Books Library. We’re so excited about this new/old book release. Do your own family a favor and get in on what this excellent gang is doing at Living Books Library. –Sam
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Every time I open a book, it is like waking to a new day. Who knows what it will bring? The title may or may not hint at the wonders between the covers, the illustrations may promise something special, but only the turning of the pages will unwind the story in its own way, sometimes revealing a simple truth that penetrates to the core of my being, marking me for life. I am left only to ask myself, “What if I had never read this book?”
My children all know this mysterious thrill. It’s what draws them to the next book, and the next. As an adult, my oldest daughter bought a children’s book that had a simple cover, a simple title, but was written by one of her cherished authors. She opened it one night before going to sleep and an hour or so later, closed the book and cried herself to sleep, because its simple truth was so beautiful. The next morning, she announced at breakfast that the entire family had to read A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy. We have read and reread it over the years, especially at Christmas time.
Though it is not a “Christmas story,” the essence of what Christmas is is woven throughout. It’s the kind of Christmas we all carry within us all year long, knowing we have received an unexpected, unbelievable gift that has forever changed our life.
The only sad thing about this book is that it is one of those special stories that you can’t go to the library or the local book store and readily obtain. Used copies are scarce and usually pricey. One day, my husband decided to do something about this. He believed every child should grow up with this story in his or her heart.
Kate Seredy’s short chapter book had been reprinted once, so he contacted that publisher. She loved the story too, but was reluctant to try another run as it hadn’t been one of their more successful attempts to bring back an old and forgotten book. But he persisted, gently, but frequently, with his charming, persuasive powers, prevailing upon this publisher to reconsider, to try again.
Just as in the story of little lame Peter, dream has become reality, and little Peter’s story is again going to be made available this November. You can read our daughter’s own perspective on this almost fairy tale story at our website and elsewhere, as well as view our Top Picks lists (here and here) that include it. If you preorder a copy for your children before October 31, you can take advantage of a special price and be among the first to receive it.
When you read this book with your family, new dreams will enter your hearts and minds, the world will seem a more beautiful place – and it will be, because the gift Peter dares to give, the one that transformed his shabby life in Shantytown, will brighten your life also, and you will want to share this story with everyone you love too. If you have ever contemplated what one person can do to change the world, one helpless and lonely little person, your dreams will reveal the possibility anew as you travel into Peter’s world in the pages of A Tree for Peter.
For details on ordering your own copy, visit the Store at Living Books Library by clicking here.