A young girl wants her father to be home more, but her wish takes an unexpected turn in this story of enduring love between parent and child from an award-winning author and illustrator.
Irene loves her family, especially when her father is home. But Papa is gone a lot, and so Irene makes a wish for him to be with the family more. Her wish comes true in an unexpected way when Papa, who was drinking lemonade in the garden at the exact moment Irene made her wish, swallows a watermelon seed and begins a surprising transformation.
Slowly and beautifully, day after day, Irene’s father turns into a tall, stately, and loving tree. Papa is a beautiful tree, but Irene wants her real Papa back. How could Irene have made such a wish, and how can she make things right?
Jerdine Nolen is the beloved author of many award-winning books, including Big Jabe; Thunder Rose, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book; and Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life, a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, all illustrated by Kadir Nelson. She is also the author of Eliza’s Freedom Road, illustrated by Shadra Strickland, which was an ALA/YALSA Best Fiction Nominee for Young Adults; Raising Dragons, illustrated by Elise Primavera, which received the Christopher Award; and Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm, illustrated by Mark Buehner, which was made into a movie by the same name. Her other books include Calico Girl, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, and Irene’s Wish, illustrated by A.G. Ford, which Kirkus Reviews called “delightful and memorable” in a starred review. Ms. Nolen is an educator and lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.
AG Ford is the illustrator of many books for children, including the New York Times bestseller Barack by Jonah Winter, Michelle by Deborah Hopkinson, and Goal! by Mina Javaherbin. He also contributed to Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change by Michelle Cook. He lives in Frisco, Texas, with his wife, Brandy. Visit him at AGFordIllustration.com.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (October 28, 2014)
Luminous, saturated acrylics and oil illustrations create a warm, cozy story of a close-knit African American family who just need a priority reset. Lush green trees, brilliant blue skies with fluffy white clouds, and almost tangible textures throughout, especially when Papa is blooming, will captivate readers. A fanciful, cautionary tale that reminds children to be careful what they wish for.