The Tree in the Courtyard
Looking Through Anne Frank's Window
by Jeff Gottesfeld
illustrated by Peter McCarty
published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
I absolutely adore this book. I love how illustrator Peter McCarty used the sepia tones to match the heavy subject matter. I read the Diary of Anne Frank as a young girl more than once. As an adult, I got to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It was an experience I will never forget. I started to reread her diary on the flight over and recall the tree. This change in perspective for Anne's story is touching and perfect for a picture book. I happen to love trees and what they represent in nature; their cyclical nature, their growth, their refusal to die even after a forest fire (saplings). After reading the afterword, I wanted to know more about these chestnut tree seedpods which live on. I found the The Sapling Project and read about the locations where the saplings grow to represent freedom and tolerance around the US. The Tree in the Courtyard is a winner for me!