Ceneca Van-Tassel Luto
Childhood is enchanted—it is knit with laughter, joy, and a touch of innocence. We may lose some of that wonder as we grow older, but our memories of those carefree days remain with us. Childhood was when anything was possible, and our worries were trivial. It has magic that can transport us back to when the world was a simpler, more enchanting place.
Meet Me Under the Maple Tree, written by Ceneca Van Tassell-Luto, is a lovely tribute to the simple joys of childhood. The book takes us on a journey with two sisters, Katy and Cathy, who visit their grandparents’ farm every summer. The girls look forward to spending a week helping their grandparents and having fun exploring the farm’s 50 acres of land. Each day of their visit is described in detail, from their search for Indian beads on Monday to doing laundry on Tuesday, and so on, until the end of their week-long stay.
The book is illustrated with full-page, colored drawings that depict each day’s activities, perfectly capturing the spirit of the story. The artwork will keep children excited about each new day’s events.
Ceneca Van Tassell-Luto brings her characters to life with words that are easy to understand. Her descriptions of the farm and the various activities the girls engage in are detailed, painting a picture of a beautiful and serene world that children will want to experience. She evokes a sense of nostalgia in adult readers, reminding them of their childhood memories of summer vacations spent on farms with grandparents.
The book’s dedication to the author’s sister adds a personal touch, and its positive themes of family, fun, and adventure are sure to resonate with readers of all ages. It is a great way to teach children about the importance of spending time with family, the value of hard work, and the joy of simple pleasures.
Meet Me Under the Maple Tree is a must-have for anyone looking to recapture childhood joys or introduce young readers to the wonders of summer vacation on a farm. As Katy would say, “There’s nothing better than snuggling up in grandma’s sheets after they’ve hung on the line all day!”
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024