Our kitchen is presently overrun with pots. That’s because this summer, after years of hemming and hawing, we are finally giving raised vegetable beds a go. And we are kickin’ it old school – from the seeds, up.
Plants are among the summer dreams we’ve gripped tightly in our hearts since last winter’s start, and now growing season is finally here. New sprouts are popping up in our pots and seed starter bin every day - kale, tomatoes, onions, radishes, snap peas. It’s a delight watching my youngest tend to them and cheer when a green friend arrives.
Gardening, as we are learning, is about patience and care. The reward? Shepherding something fruitful into existence, and getting to see the wonders of the natural world up close and personal - a message fitting for the week that holds Earth Day (April 22). This joy is at the heart of the new picture book WHEN GRANDMA GIVES YOU A LEMON TREE by Jamie L. B. Deenihan, illustrated by Lorraine Rocha (Sterling Publishing, 2019).
At the start of this story, a little girl is making a birthday wish list. She asks for a drone, a phone, a remote control car. All technology. ‘Tis the way of the modern world, right? Not in Grandma’s eyes. She goes off script and brings something her granddaughter doesn’t expect…
Upon this page turn, the story launches into a hilarious presentation of what to do and NOT to do when Grandma gives you a lemon tree. Do make an excited face. Don’t drop it off a bridge.
In time, the girl finds herself quite connected to the tree. While her friends are playing with their tech toys, she dutifully and happily provides what her tree needs: sun, water and attentiveness. The relationship between the girl and the tree yields fruit indeed…
WHEN GRANDMA GIVES YOU A LEMON TREE completely charms, from cover to cover. It’s full of gorgeous color, contagious energy and spirited voice, and it delivers the message that time spent unplugged and close to Mother Nature leads to new discoveries and brings people together.
Anyone who attended our wedding knows my affinity for yellow and lemons. So when my youngest (who happens to share the same name as the tree in this fabulous book!) asked to make fresh-squeezed lemonade, like the characters in the story, no arm twisting was required.
8 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of sugar (Ouch! But oh so tasty…)
Miss L’s job was rolling the lemons on the table with her palm, to get them ready for juicing. We found ourselves doing addition and subtraction as we removed each lemon from the bowl and added lemon halves to the juicer… impromptu math fun!
It took a lot more muscle (and a lot more time) than my chef companion imagined it might, but we sure were proud to serve it to daddy and sisters as an afternoon treat. Isn’t that the beauty of gardening and growing, in a nutshell?
WHEN GRANDMA GIVES YOU A LEMON TREE is available at or through your local bookstore, or via the online bookseller of your choice. It is the debut picture book of Jamie L. B. Deenihan (@jlbdeenihan). Pictures are by Lorraine Rocha, illustrator of ZEBRA ON THE GO (Peachtree).
One lucky reader will win WHEN GRANDMA GIVES YOU A LEMON TREE, signed by Jamie L. B. Deenihan! Here's how to enter:
*** Win WHEN GRANDMA GIVES YOU A LEMON TREE ***
1. "Like" this post (click the heart below)
2. Follow me (@anitraschulte) on Twitter
3. Retweet my pinned contest tweet by 4/26/19
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