“My Grandpa planted a tree for me on the day I was born. It was a pecan tree.”
Author Roxanne Troup creates books that celebrate the wonder of childhood and the beauty of family. In My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me she has written an intimate book about the love of nature and the rewards of nurturing the fruits of the earth as well as cherishing important family relationships. It is a poetic story while also being informative about the painstaking effort that goes into agriculture, the history of pecans and the commercial industry, and the critters that endanger the crop. Grandpa’s orchard is full of pecan trees which are cared for and attended to skillfully, but none more precious than “my tree.”
From a historical standpoint, it is heartening to learn that the ingenuity of an enslaved gardener named Antoine developed the technique that allows modern pecan growers to produce a thousand different varieties of pecans, yielding more than three hundred million pounds of pecan nuts every year. While the book does focus on only one crop, pecans, it is the sharing of a legacy and sweet moments that will live forever in memory.
World-renowned artist Kendra Binney’s illustrations, although seemingly simplistic early American-style pastels, suggest both nostalgia and fairy tale imagery. They are gentle and sweet, and lushly colored with mixtures of yellows and blues quite prominent. It is a lovely book filled with warmth, teachable moments, and cultural importance.