The little apple tree ISBN: 9780750013864
Published by Simon & Schuster, 1994
Lucy must wear a brace on one leg and so can't walk as well as other children her age. Her father is a gardener in a lovely garden, and about the time Lucy was born, he planted an apple tree. This is Lucy's favourite place, and she visits it each time she goes to the garden. But the apple tree has failed to thrive - it is frail, like Lucy - and doesn't produce fruit. Lucy's dad wants to remove it, but Lucy begs a reprieve for one more year. Next spring the tree shows signs of flagging again, but the day before it is to be dug out there is a storm. Lucy finds a thrush's nest, the eggs still warm. She rescues it. Followed by the frantic parent birds, she wedges it firmly in her little apple tree, and they settle to hatch their babies. The next day the tree has blossomed and so is saved. The thrushes return each year, and the tree, though never big, produces a small crop of good apples. The analogies between Lucy and the tree are subtly done. A beautiful picture book.