Friday, July 26, 2013

The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha's Vineyard, by Amy MacDougall (illustrated by Nicole Gsell)

The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha's Vineyard

Author: Amy MacDougall 
Illustrator: Nicole Gsell 
Publisher: Lychee Books 
Publication Date: May 10, 2013 
The Tremendous Pagoda Tree of Martha's Vineyard tells the story of Captain Thomas Milton's famous pagoda tree, a gift from one of his many trips to China as a shipping merchant in the early 1800's. The tree stands in Edgartown to this day, next to the historic Captain Thomas Milton House.

If none of this sounds familiar to you it's probably because, like me, you are not from Martha's Vineyard. Although my grandparents lived in Boston for many years and I visited them a number of times, I'm not that familiar with the surrounding area. I definitely didn't know much about Edgartown, Captain Milton or the famed pagoda tree.

So maybe this book won't exactly have universal appeal. My daughter Magda and I enjoyed the story and the pictures, but I think the real audience will be those children who live close enough to Edgartown to see it in person. The illustrations are faithful to the town itself (I looked it up after reading the book) and I think children will delight in seeing a familiar sight reflected in the pages. I know Magda and I have a great number of favourite books that take place here in Halifax. We've even taken them on picnics with us to read in the actual locations where the stories take place.

If you do live or vacation near Martha's Vineyard, I'm sure you and your child will consider this book a must have. If not, well, it's a lovely story but it may not resonate with you quite as much.

Keep reading to see a video of the pagoda tree today!

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley (actually it was the illustrator who invited me to download the title--thanks Nicole!). I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own (though Magda helped, as she does with all my children's picture book reviews).


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