The Apple Tree’s Discovery

Penin­nah Schram and Rachayl Eck­stein Davis
  • Review
By – August 7, 2012

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.

Read­ing Guide

Shelly Feit has an M.L.S. and a Sixth-year Spe­cial­ist’s Cer­tifi­cate in infor­ma­tion sci­ence. She is the library direc­tor and media spe­cial­ist at the Mori­ah School in Engle­wood, NJ.

Discussion Questions