By Mary Ann Rodman and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Peachtree Publishers, 2009
$15.95, ages 4-8
Emmy would rather play with the mimosa tree in her grandma's pasture than anything and wishes for her birthday to plant one in her backyard. But none of the stores in town sell the wild tree and there isn't another tree as "stubborn and strong and little bit wild" like her.
The willows, oaks and pines in her yard are nice, but she's never wanted to swing from their branches like a possum, and they don't have fuzzy pink blossoms to stick behind her ears so she can pretend she's a flying bug or seed pods to rattle like maracas.
When grandma offers to dig up a little mimosa sapling for Emmy to plant in her yard, the problem seems solved. But then Emmy realizes it will be a long time before her tree has flowers or pods and flops hopelessly onto her bed. Will she care enough about her scrawny tree to save it from Daddy's lawn mower?
This tender story celebrates just how wonderful it is to play in the natural world and how some things, no matter how small, are worth the wait.