I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree

I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree

Written by: Pendziwol, Jean E.
Illustrated by: Dion, Nathalie
ages 3 to 7 / grades P to 2

Jean E. Pendziwol’s newest picture book is a lyrical meditation on nature and hope.

The child in this story observes the sun by playing with her shadow, though sometimes it disappears. She listens to the wind tell stories, even when it howls like wolves. She tastes snowflakes — sometimes sweet and delicate; other times sharp on her cheeks. And finally, she finds hope in the buds on a cherry tree that survive through the winter to blossom in spring.

Jean E. Pendziwol has written a layered, lyrical exploration of the hardships and beauties of nature. Her poem, beautifully illustrated by Nathalie Dion, is a study in contrasts and a message of the hope that carries us through the year and through our lives.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

Jean E. Pendziwol’s newest picture book is a lyrical meditation on nature and hope.

The child in this story observes the sun by playing with her shadow, though sometimes it disappears. She listens to the wind tell stories, even when it howls like wolves. She tastes snowflakes — sometimes sweet and delicate; other times sharp on her cheeks. And finally, she finds hope in the buds on a cherry tree that survive through the winter to blossom in spring.

Jean E. Pendziwol has written a layered, lyrical exploration of the hardships and beauties of nature. Her poem, beautifully illustrated by Nathalie Dion, is a study in contrasts and a message of the hope that carries us through the year and through our lives.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd - Sep 1, 2020
Specifications 32 pages | 10.625 in x 8.875 in
Supporting Resources
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Teacher's Guide

Praise for author Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrator Nathalie Dion for I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree:

Longlisted World Illustration Award,2020

Winner 3x3 International Illustration Annual Merit Award, 2020

Globe 100 Favourite Books of 2020

49th Shelf Canadian Books of the Year, 2020

OLA Best Bets Honourable Mention, 2020


“Textured canvases overlaid with soft pastels and cool earth tones create a dreamy, tranquil atmosphere, mirroring the quiet wonder of the text. … An ode to solitude and nature, this picture book provides comforting certitude in current times of uncertainty.” — Kirkus Reviews

“[T]he text throughout creates a contemplative space for savoring lyrical language and reflecting on painterly, softly textured, striking art.” — Horn Book

“Along with Pendziwol’s poetic text, Dion’s illustrations shimmer with hope.” — Globe and Mail

"[T]he text is poetic and the artwork is riveting." — Postmedia

I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree tells a simple, yet beautiful, story about dealing with fears in a constructive way and thinking about the future with hope.” — CM Review of Materials

“The appearance of this book is a shining jewel in our troubled times. Highly recommended.” — The Chronicle-Journal

“Pendziwol’s writing is simply sublime. … Dion’s charming illustrations, a mix of traditional and digital paintings cut, transformed and placed in Photoshop, comple-ment the text to perfection.” — Canadian Children’s Book News

"Play can be more than activity. It can be in the soul that sees beyond the doing, the now, the ephemeral. It can be in the hope of possibilities and Jean E. Pendziwol and Nathalie Dion help us see this in I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree." — CanLit for LittleCanadians

“Jean E. Pendziwol has written a layered, lyrical exploration of the hardships and beauties of nature.” — 49th Shelf Blog

“Jean E. Pendziwol has written a dream of a book with I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree.” — Pickle Me This Blog

“The gentle artwork guides readers through scenes of peacefulness and being alone in nature. Comfort abounds.” — Sal’s Fiction Addiction Blog

“[A] lovely story of winter.” — The International Educator Blog


Praise for author Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrator Phil for Me and You and the Red Canoe:

“Evocative, lyrical, perfect.” — Kirkus, starred review

“A true gem that invites contemplation and reflection in children, who are often too busy to notice the beauty of everyday life.” — School Library Journal, starred review


Praise for author Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrator Isabelle Arsenault for Once Upon a Northern Night:

“A beautiful, lyrical celebration of northern light and night.” — Kirkus, starred review

“A reverent ode to the magic and wonder of an icy winter night.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This is a lovely wintry bedtime story, best for sharing one-on-one.” — School Library Journal, starred review

 “A sweet and lovely tale of the magic of waking up to a world transformed by winter.” — Booklist, starred review