Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 0 to 5
- Grade: p to k
- Reading age: 3 to 5
Solomon has a special friendship with the big old maple outside his house. He knows the tree in all seasons and all weathers. When a terrible storm tears it up by its roots, Solomon is devastated. But through the healing process of making a mask from part of the tree with his uncle, he learns that the cycle of life continues and so does the friendship between himself and the tree.
About the authors
Andrea Spalding is a prolific writer for children.
Born in the industrial city of Manchester England, she trained as a teacher. Then, with husband David, Andrea immigrated to Canada in 1967. After living in Alberta for 24 years, Andrea and David relocated to British Columbia and live on Pender Island, one of Canada's Southern Gulf Islands.
Canadian life proved to be rich and varied. Curiosity about her chosen country compelled Andrea to listen to other Canadian immigrants who shared tales that later became her folktale book, A World of Stories.
A love of the outdoors prompted her and David to take their family and travel quintessential Canada. They've skated on frozen lakes, worked on dinosaur digs, and panned for Yukon gold. Andrea has whale-watched on both coasts, enjoyed vineyards and theatre festivals on the Niagara Peninsula, and tapped her feet in Toronto jazz clubs. A highlight West Coast experience was assisting in the carving an Aboriginal Honour Pole with Tsimshian master carver Victor Reece. These experiences provided background for her stories.
Andrea's first children's book, The Most Beautiful Kite In The World, was selected as a Canadian Children's Book Center's "Our Choice." She has garnered awards and nominations ever since. Her fantasy novels - The Summer of Magic Quartet - are avidly read by both children and adults. Her picturebook, Secret of the Dance, is her 30th. Written with Aboriginal Elder Alfred Scow, it has gained accolades from both the aboriginal and white communities.
Andrea gives school presentations across the country, and also teaches writing workshops, and in-service presentations to teachers, librarians, and any one interested in her passion for Children's Literature.
Visit Andrea's website at www.andreaspalding.com.
Janet Wilson is an award-winning artist and a published author, holding over 50 publishing copyrights in the children's literature field. She graduated with honours from the Ontario College of Art and Design as a mature student, the mother of two little boys. Janet's love of books combined with a particular talent for drawing children has brought her into the world of "kidlit." Her more realistic style lends itself to interpreting the stories of children's favorite authors in producing picture books. Sensitivity to the nuances of facial expressions helps young readers grasp subjects ranging from dealing with death, the arrival of a new baby, the tragedy of war or just wishing your new dress was a different colour. Her awards include Best Illustrated Book in the United States in 2004 for Jasper's Day, Canadian Information Book of the Year for her artwork in In Flanders Fields, and she is the first non-native artist to be awarded the Native Reading Week Award for her illustrations in Solomon's Tree. Janet is a career artist known for her fine art commissioned portraits and still life paintings.
- Commended, First Nation Communities Read Award selection
- Short-listed, Chocolate Lily nominee
- Commended, Canadian Toy Testing Council Recommended Books
- Short-listed, SYRCA Shining Willow nominee
- Short-listed, BC Book Prize - Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize nominee
- Commended, CCBC Our Choice starred selection
- Short-listed, CLA Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award nominee
- Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
Excerpt: Solomon's Tree (by (author) Andrea Spalding; illustrated by Janet Wilson)
"Tell me about your tree," said Uncle as he planed the angles of the face. "What did you see among the branches?"
Solomon described the hummingbird nest and the antics of the baby birds. Uncle rounded the brow with the adze, chipped the hollows of the eyes, and told the hummingbird story.
"Did your tree smell nice?" asked Uncle as he used the hook knife to carve the nose. Solomon remembered the sweet spring smell of sap and the pungent, fall odor of crushed leaves.
"If a perfect author/illustrator team exists, then Andrea Spalding and Janet Wilson must be its embodiment."
"Spalding and Wilson have created a memorable cultural gift to pass on to the younger generation."
"A book which is both touching and informative."
The Whitehouse Star
"A beautifully told and moving story of our bond with nature and how it can enrich our lives if we choose to see it in all its glory."
"The robust art is exceptionally nice here, rich in fall colors and details that reflect the boy's culture."
"A rich celebration of the power and beauty of nature and family relationships, this picture book is a likely contender for national and international awards."
"Visually vibrant and generous."
"A strong, sensitive, beautifully interpreted title."
Quill & Quire
"With its diversity and depth, this warm, caring book is one that readers of all ages will enjoy."
Children's Book News
"Janet Wilson's work is stunning and multi-dimensional."
"Solomon's Tree will no doubt soon be on the short list for major awards. It is a beautiful picture book and a pleasure to read aloud."
Other titles by Andrea Spalding
Secret of the Dance Read-Along
Seal Song Read-Along
Andrea Spalding 2-Book Bundle
Finders Keepers / An Island of My Own
Flavours of the Southern Gulf Islands
Finders Keepers Teachers' Guide
Dundurn Teachers' Guide
The Silver Boulder
The Lost Sketch
The Disappearing Dinosaur
Dance Baby Dance
Other titles by Janet Wilson
How Kids are Taking Action
In Flanders Fields
The Story of the Poem by John McCrae
How Kids Are Making a Difference
Severn and the Day She Silenced the World
How kids are changing the world
Shannen and the Dream for a School
How kids are saving the planet
True Stories of Young Activists
A Story of Remembrance