Laurel, the narrator of this endearing and beautifully illustrated story, is a young girl who lives next door to avid gardener Honey. Laurel observes Honey tending her garden and eventually volunteers to help her. The two become good friends and Laurel comes to appreciate the magic of tending a garden and sharing the earth’s bounty. After a while, Honey moves away to take care of her ailing mother and although Laurel is sad to see Honey leave, the sadness does not take over the story. Before Honey leaves, she and Laurel plant a tree and Honey assures her that the tree will last a long time. Finally, new neighbors move in and the gardening tradition continues
Although the story is universal and timeless, the author notes that it is loosely based on the Talmudic story of Honi, who meets a man planting a carob tree so that future generations will enjoy its fruit. A discussion of Honi and of planting trees in general makes the story particularly appropriate for Tu b’Shevat.
The book is illustrated with watercolor-style drawings which provide enough detail to continue to be entertaining after multiple readings. The book is highly recommended for children ages 4 to 8 as well as for the lucky adults who may have the privilege of reading it to them.