H. Joseph Hopkins lives on a houseboat in Portland, Oregon. This is his first picture book.
Jill McElmurry has written and illustrated many acclaimed picture books, including Mario Makes a Move; Mad about Plaid; Who Stole Mona Lisa? by Ruthie Knapp; and the bestselling Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. She lives on a farm in New Mexico. Visit her at JillMcElmurry.com.
* "A terrific jacket image shows a tiny girl in a towering
forest as seen from above. Who is this girl? And why is she the
tree lady? Well, turns out Katherine Olivia Sessions, who grew up
in Northern California in the 1860s, always loved trees.... A
little-known, can-do woman shines in this handsome picture book
from Hopkins and McElmurry. Hopkins ably brings a woman's
passion--and some science--to a story that's accessible for young
children. And, oh the pictures! Both old-timey and lush, they evoke
Kate's vision perfectly, and individually labeled illustrations of
trees add to the educational value. A lovely tribute to the
pioneering (and environmentalist) spirit, topped off by an author's
note."-- "Booklist, June 1, 2013, *STARRED REVIEW"
* Katherine Olivia Sessions was a real go-getter, becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a science degree (1881) and transforming San Diego's City Park from a dry, ugly hillside into a lush garden flourishing beneath a beautiful canopy of trees.... Hopkins writes in a light narrative style that makes this picture-book biography a great selection for a storytime with a nature-based theme, but it also contains good information for early report writers. The author utilizes variations of a positive, upbeat refrain-"but she did"-that kids will enjoy repeating. McElmurry's artwork undergirds Hopkins's writing with stylized beauty and a sense of joy. This is a wonderful tribute to a true champion of nature.
-- "School Library Journal, November 2013, *STARRED REVIEW"
"For slightly older readers ready for a little history, Hopkins describes the magic wrought by the Tree Lady, a real Victorian-era woman named Kate Sessions, who transformed San Diego's arid Balboa Park into a lush, tree-filled garden.... Hopkins includes a lot of facts in the story, but his clever repetition of the phrase "But Kate did" each time her success confound expectations adds rhythm and a predictable structure.
Even children who find the details of Sessions' life difficult to absorb are likely to be enchanted by the book's appearance. McElmurry's paintings combine stylized design elements with naturalistic details...the plants and trees are detailed and distinct but also simplified enough that their basic structures can be easily understood. "The Tree Lady" has an obvious companion in "Miss Rumphius".... In their own way, these true stories of unconventional American lives fulfill their heroines' ambitions of making the world a more beautiful place--and plant the seeds of future beauty in the minds of their readers."-- "The New York Times, September 11, 2013"