Monday, April 18, 2016

The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window by Jeff Gettesfeld

This new perspective on Anne Frank caught me by surprise. I find myself returning to it repeatedly, putting new pieces together, understanding new details, noticing reasons for shading and words and message throughout the picture book.

Outside of Anne Frank's window in that courtyard for the first part of her life grew a giant chestnut tree. The story chronicles what Anne saw and lived by witnessing that tree, and then after the Gestapo came, her time in the attic, hidden away from the world but seeing that tree and its branches through the seasons. Anne wrote her diary looking at that tree, and several factual details are included in this story.

With illustrations by Peter McCarty, the story wraps its lovely story around the reader like a blanket. This book reminded me of Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War: tragic but oh so important. Powerful. The Tree in the Courtyard.

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