Review: The Secret of Sapling Green

Sapling Green has a secret, one she hides away in pockets. This sweet and whimsical story slowly reveals the secret of Sapling Green, a quiet girl who hides in the library and ‘wishes for someone to play with’. 

Only at home does Sapling remove her hands from her pockets to reveal her verdant secret — green thumbs. Literally. Sapling’s magical gift surrounds her with lush greenery and here she feels confident and free to be her true self.

In a juxtaposition of introvert and extrovert, we also meet Wynn, a boisterous and confident boy who loves ‘climbing in the schoolyard tree’ with a group of friends. 

When a storm hits, it is this tree that inspires Sapling to be brave and finally reveal her gift to her classmates. This is achieved through a delicate, dream-like sequence as Sapling whispers and reawakens the tree.

The Secret of Sapling Green is a quiet and gentle story about friendship, acceptance and the power of nature to bring people together. Sapling’s green thumbs offer a beautiful metaphor for any condition that may make children feel different. The book provides opportunities for discussion about differences and inclusion, and serves as a reminder that we can only blossom when we accept ourselves and each other.

Penelope Pratley’s debut as an author, The Secret of Sapling Green shines with simple but stunning text. Penelope’s watercolour illustrations, with their soft lines and delicious hues, are the perfect complement. Together, they form an uplifting picture book that will linger in the minds of children and adults for a long time.

Title: The Secret of Sapling Green
Author/ Illustrator: Penelope Pratley
Publisher: EK Books, $24.99
Publication Date: February 2022
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925820980
For ages: 3 – 8
Type: Picture Book

May 27, 2022 at 12:35AM Penny Harrison