A Tree for Peter
Written and illustrated by Kate Seredy
Original Copyright 1941
Published in 2004 by Purple House Press
I loved this story. Loved it. I felt so helpless and depressed as I read about Peter being left alone day after day in those squalid conditions by a mother who clearly hated it as much as he did, but didn't have any other option. And I rejoiced when he found a kind heart to teach him to live beyond those fears.
People of today might read the story and see only the unrealistic aspects compared to our own day: children left alone day after day without state interference; a friendship with a vagrant who turns out to be kind rather than deranged. But for me as a modern reader, I think this story still has bearing, and I appreciate the hope that drives the story, the inherent innocence of it, and the author's assumption that people are basically good and -more importantly- that one person can make a difference in the lives of others.
Kate Seredy's beautiful, detailed, sepia illustrations accompany her amazing story, and set the tone.
One of our family's very favorite stories, this makes a great read-aloud anytime, but especially at Christmas. (If you can get through it without weeping.)