The Sparrow and the Trees

written by Sharon Chriscoe

illustrated by Susan Detwiler

Arbordale Publishing 2015

9781628556339  (hardcover) 9781628556384  (paperback)

This folktale will entertain young children as they learn about science as well as the importance of kindness. It is a retelling of a little-known folktale explaining why trees lose their leaves each winter. In the story Papa Sparrow cannot fly south with his family for the winter and he turns to the trees for shelter from the wind and cold that will come. As the leafy trees turn him away he is offered shelter in the evergreens.

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"Heartlessness leads to leaflessness for trees that refuse to shelter an injured sparrow for the winter.

Of (possibly, according to the source note) Cherokee origin, the tale opens with Papa Sparrow, one wing injured, sending his family south and then seeking shelter from, respectively, Maple, Oak, and Willow. All three rudely reject him, but Pine, Spruce, and Juniper are more welcoming. That night, at the behest of irritated King Forest, Winter Wind denudes the uncharitable trio—who have continued to lose their leaves in wintertime ever since."