Saturday, July 10, 2010

Don’t Call it a Weed!

Weeds, I’ve been told, are plants in places you don’t want them to be. If you like the weeds where they are, does that make them non-weeds?

One summer a much loved aunt of mine who was ill and unable to leave her bed, wrote a full page of her letter to me about the lovely mimosa tree she could see from her window. Imagine my shock to hear someone refer to this tree as a weed. When I discovered a little girl who loved the “stubborn and wild” mimosa as much as my aunt, I hugged this little girl to my reader’s heart immediately.

A TREE FOR EMMY by Mary Ann Rodman, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss, Peachtree, 2009

Emmy loved all the parts of the mimosa tree growing in her gramma’s pasture: the fuzzy pink blossoms in summer, the seed pods in the fall. Her proud gramma said the tree was a lot like Emmy, “Stubborn and strong and a little bit wild.”

When her parents asked what she wanted for her birthday, of course, Emmy wanted a mimosa. It would be perfect under her bedroom window where she could enjoy it every day, all year.

Her parents set out to buy a mimosa tree. Not so easy. The plant and garden stores don’t sell mimosas just like they don’t sell dandelions.

What’s a mimosa lover to do?

If you have any wild and stubborn young readers at your house, here’s a summer time book to delight. Best read close to a mimosa, sitting on a quilt, with a picnic lunch close at hand. Another glass of lemonade, please.

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