Monday, March 28, 2022

THE VERY OLDEST PEAR TREE: A Picture Book Review, Mini-Author Interview, and Giveaway

 I'm delighted to introduce you to a new author friend of mine, Nancy I. Sanders. Nancy has published scads of books and her blog is full of information for writers, teachers, and readers. Take your time to look around her site and you'll be impressed as I am with her experience and generosity! If you want to get to know more about Nancy's passion for picture books, check out this interview. 

In today's post I'm highlighting one of her picture books, The Very Oldest Pear Tree (Albert Whitman & Co., 2020). This informational book for readers from 5-8 years old, tells the inspirational story of how the Endicott pear tree grew up with our nation. Click here for links to classroom resources.


REVIEW

The year is 1630. The main character is a pear tree sapling that is shipped to the governor of Salem, John Endecott.  He has missed the fruit trees in England and is determined to start an orchard.





Governor Endecott picked the little pear tree to grow right in front of his house, hoping that it would live a long time. "The tree was small yet strong. Though young, its roots reached deep."

Twelve years later a fire blew through the orchard, destroying hundreds of trees--but the Endecott pear was spared. Generations passed. The family changed the spelling of their last name, the Governor's house crumbled, but the Endicott pear tree--with its new name, stood.  

By the time our second president of the United States, John Adams, ate one of its pears, the tree had become a legend. It inspired Massachusetts poets like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and  Lucy Larcom. 


The tree survived a hurricane in 1938 and vandalism in 1964. Tree experts were unable to graft new branches. But, the Endicott pear tree tree sent out roots and "almost miraculously, a hundred tiny branches sprouted along the trunks. It survived!"



In 1997 a cutting was used to grow a new Endicott pear tree. Clones were made, seeds stored in a storage bank, and now Endicott pear trees have been planted across the nation--including this one, that Nancy planted and is now six feet tall!


Today, about four hundred years old, the Endicott pear tree is the oldest living tree cultivated in America. When John Endecott first planned it in front of his house, he expected the pear tree to outlive him by more than a hundred years. But no one imagined its story could still be told today.

The Endicott pear tree is a survivor. It's older than America itself. And it's still standing strong.

MINI-AUTHOR INTERVIEW

CAROL: How did you get interested in this topic? 

NANCY: I wanted to write a picture book every elementary teacher would want to use in the classroom. I figured that would be a highly commercial topic. So I knew children study Pilgrims in Kindergarten/first grade. So I started reading about Pilgrims to see if I could find any new topics about Pilgrims that hadn't been written about before. I discovered they planted an orchard of apple trees!

I started researching their orchard of apple trees because I love trees...and each time I searched for that on the Internet, links would come up for a pear tree that the Puritans had planted...that was still alive and growing strong! I started clicking on those links, learned about the Endicott Pear Tree, and was hooked. I fell in love with it right from the start!

CAROL: What type of research did you do?

NANCY: First I read everything I could about it. There's actually a lot online from the historical society that still helps care for it.

Then I contacted Bill Endicott, the president of the family's descendants who originally planted the tree. He gave me a lot of information.

Then I took a trip to Boston and Salem and Danvers to actually visit the tree and take lots of photographs. That was so exciting to actually touch the tree and sit near it!

CAROL: What was your path to publication? 

NANCY: This was one of the rare times in my career that I wrote the entire book before I queried a publisher. I sent the manuscript to my agent Cyle Young who submitted it. And Albert Whitman picked it up!

CAROL: Any thoughts on the illustration style?

NANCY: I was so excited to learn that Yas Imamura was picked up to illustrate this book. I was already familiar with her name and her style because she had illustrated some very nice nonfiction picture books at that time. I love her style which has a nice Americana and historic feel.

GIVEAWAY

Leave me a comment with your email address if you are interested in winning a copy of this book; U.S. addresses only. Giveaway ends April 2. This will make a great homeschool or classroom resource--or just a wonderful book for your bookshelf!

Congratulations to Natalie Aguire who won Picturing a Nation from last week's post.

48 comments:

Nancy I. Sanders said...

Thanks so much for featuring my book on your wonderful blog, Carol! It’s a joy to be part of your journey.

Carol Baldwin said...

My pleasure to host you, Nancy!

Barbara Younger said...

What a neat idea for a book. The illustrations look fabulous, too. I'd love to win a copy.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Barbara. Your name starts the list!

mona said...

Oh my gosh! This is a great interview with an amazing author, Nancy I Sanders. She always finds the most interesting topics. I have a teacher in mind if I should win this book. (After I'd do a mentor text study!) Thank you.

Evelyn said...

Thank you, Carol and Nancy, for this delightful blog post. I already knew a little about this book, but this review and interview gave lots more fascinating information about it. I would love to win a copy. evelyn dot christensen at gmail dot com.

Janice said...

Such an interesting topic. I would love to win a copy. My church is starting a new school,and this would be a great resource for it. Thank you for entering my name. Janice
jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Terrie Brown said...

I love this story and that Nancy planted her own pear tree. So cool! I love the illustrations too. Perfect for the book!

Sara said...

It's so interesting to hear about how you got the idea for this book, Nancy. Thanks for sharing. I hope to see that amazing tree for myself some day!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Sara. I need your email address to add you to the giveaway list.

Carol Baldwin said...

Terrie, can you send me your email address to enter this giveaway? cbaldwin6@me.com

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Janice. I hope you and the rest of Nancy's friends come back to my blog again--I have lots of giveaways!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for entering, Evelyn. Come back for more great giveaways!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thank you, Mona! I hope you come back also!

Susan said...

Combining history and a kids' book is great! Love to be entered!

Unknown said...

I'm so glad you brought this book to my attention Carol! I definitely want to get it into my student's hands.
ttruax @ sau52.org

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Susan. You'd love it!

Carol Baldwin said...

You're in, Tammy!

Karen Condit said...

Sounds fascinating! Love the illustrations as well. Nancy has done it again! 🙂

Carol Baldwin said...

She has, Karen. I need your email address to enter your name.

Unknown said...

I loved it. I will have to tell my daughter in law, who is a teacher, about it.
thanks for tagging me!!
Fondly,
Hewi Mason

Lauren said...

This sounds like a lovely book! Thanks for sharing!

Four J Events Club said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response.

Carol Baldwin said...

I need your email address, Lauren, to enter you in the giveaway. Thanks for your comment.

Annette Whipple said...

I LOVE this book. Who would have thought a biography of a PEAR TREE could be so incredible!

So thankful for Nancy Sander's talent with words. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway.

annettemwhipple at gmail dot com

Garden Girl said...

Nancy I. Sanders is an author I admire.

THE VERY OLDEST PEAR TREE is a fascinating story about an amazing tree.

Suzy Leopold
sleopold@gmail.com

Pamela Haskin said...

Such a great interview with Nancy! Thanks for a chance to win a copy of her book. phaskin at hotmail dot com

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Suzy. You're in!

Carol Baldwin said...

thanks, Pamela. I hope you keep coming back for more giveaways!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Annette. You're right on!

Nancy I. Sanders said...

Thank you, everyone for all your kind words and encouragement!!!! What a wonderful support you are!!!!

Zachary Snyder said...

Think my twins would love this book!
Zacharysnyder@gmail.com

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Zachary. I bet the would!

Beth Anderson said...

I love the story of this story! Can't wait to read it!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thank you, Beth. Your name goes into the VERY BIG hat!!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I love the illustrations in this book, and it looks like a wonderful book to share with my granddaughter. Thanks for featuring Nancy today!
Connie
cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Connie. You're in

Danielle H. said...

Another fascinating book about a slice of history unknown to me. I love reading books like this. Thank you for featuring it today!

Esther M. Bandy said...

Carol and Nancy, thank you for sharing this interesting book with us, and thank you for offering a giveaway. The story is delightful, and the illustrations are beautiful. Congratulations on creating such a wonderful book for young readers!

Terri DeGezelle Michels said...

thank you for a great, interesting, and informative post. I want to know more, a sign of a good book! terramichels@gmail.com

Carol Baldwin said...

You are welcome, Danielle. Glad the post finally published!! :)

Carol Baldwin said...

Thank you, Esther!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Terri. You're in too--and the list grows!!

Rosi said...

I am very excited to read this book. It looks and sounds lovely. I am familiar with Nancy's blog and have read it often over the last few years. Thanks for the interview and introduction to the book and the chance to win a copy.

Gail Cartee said...

Carol and Nancy, thank you for sharing this book. I love history. This is so appropriate for young children. And, thanks for the background on finding your idea and researching.

Carol Baldwin said...

Glad you enjoyed this, Gail.

Mona Voelkel said...

Thank you so much for sharing such for sharing the interesting hoistory of the oldest pear tree! I love trees and history and this combines both! Looking forward to reading this book and visiting the oldest pear tree!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thank you, Mona. But to enter you In the giveaway I need your email address.

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