A little apple tree wants to be like the other trees in the oak forest. It particularly longs to have stars, since the other trees have stars that dangle and shimmer on their branches at night. The tree asks God for stars, and in response, God tries to let the tree know how many other gifts it has already — including the ability to bear apples and provide shade. As the seasons pass, the tree discovers that it DOES have stars — just not the kind that other trees have. The ending is a surprise twist and the book includes a practical activity, which will appeal to the reader.
Like many young children, the apple tree covets the gifts that the other trees have been given. Based on a Jewish folktale, this lovely story encourages readers to believe in their unique gifts and strengths, rather than long to have someone else’s abilities or assets. The message is well delivered in an age-appropriate fashion. This book is beautifully written by famed storyteller and teacher, Peninnah Schram, and Rachayl Davis, also a storyteller and educator. The authors thank Rabbi Avi Weiss for having exposed them to this story in a Midrash workshop. Watercolor illustrations are whimsical and colorful and support the story perfectly. The Apple Tree’s Discovery can be used as a Tu B’Shvat or Earth Day resource. Highly recommended for children ages 5 – 8 as a read-to and as an independent read.