Children Troon Harrison The Floating Orchard

ISBN 13: 9780887764394

The Floating Orchard

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9780887764394: The Floating Orchard

Damson lives in the house her great-grandfather built. The orchard is graced by a beautiful plum tree, grown from a plum stone her great-grandmother had carried across the ocean. It was in this house that Damson was born, and it is here she intends to stay among the flowers, animals, and fruit trees she loves.

Then comes a time of a great flood that threatens to wash away everything Damson cares for. Aided by her friend, Bartlett, she finds in the treasures of her old life the means to start again. Troon Harrison and Miranda Jones have created a lovely story of courage and renewal in the face of adversity.

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About the Author:

Troon Harrison is known for her poetry and her many picture books, which include The Floating Orchard, The Memory Horse and The Dream Collector. Raised in England, Troon Harrison now makes her home in Southern Ontario.

Miranda Jones was born in Waikerie, South Australia and came to Canada in 1980. She received her M.F.A. Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking from the University of Saskatchewan. Miranda Jones has participated in numerous solo and group exhibits in both Saskatchewan and Newfoundland. The Floating Orchard is her first book.

From Publishers Weekly:

Harrison's (The Dream Catcher) disjointed tale focuses on the winds of change. Damson has always lived in a valley surrounded by her great-grandmother's plum trees, the tallest of which, the "Orchard Queen," is said to possess magical properties. When a flood threatens, Damson builds a boat that she completes with the aid of a stranger named Bartlett, a sort of Johnny Appleseed of pears, who persuades her to chop down the Orchard Queen for a mast. Together they load up the vessel with animals (like Noah's arc) and sail to safety. As homesick Damson's tears water the mast, it revives and sprouts leaves. A daughter, Anjou Victoria, is born to Damson, presumably fathered by Bartlett (though the narrative never describes a romance, the paintings show the couple in amicable poses). The book circles back to its beginnings, as the girl echoes Damson's opening words, "This is where I was born and where I will always live" but ends on an arch noteD"She didn't know yet that life is full of surprises." The story line seems constructed in the service of the theme and thus the narrative grows tedious (including the twee conceit of naming the characters after fruit varieties). Australian artist Jones soaks the pages fittingly in watery blues and greens, but the characters' faces are either misshapen or hidden from readers; borders hung like bright banners decorated with fruit, blossoms and heart motifs underscore a greeting-card quality. Ages 7-10. (Jan.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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