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Children's Fiction Imagination & Play

I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree

by (author) Jean E. Pendziwol

illustrated by Nathalie Dion

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Imagination & Play, Poetry (see also Stories in Verse), Emotions & Feelings, General
Recommended Age
3 to 7
Recommended Grade
p to 2
Recommended Reading age
3 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


Jean E. Pendziwol’s newest picture book is a lyrical meditation on nature and hope.

The child in this story observes the sun by playing with her shadow, though sometimes it disappears. She listens to the wind tell stories, even when it howls like wolves. She tastes snowflakes — sometimes sweet and delicate; other times sharp on her cheeks. And finally, she finds hope in the buds on a cherry tree that survive through the winter to blossom in spring.

Jean E. Pendziwol has written a layered, lyrical exploration of the hardships and beauties of nature. Her poem, beautifully illustrated by Nathalie Dion, is a study in contrasts and a message of the hope that carries us through the year and through our lives.


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

About the authors

Jean E. Pendziwol has published several highly acclaimed picture books, including Once Upon a Northern Night, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. She is also the author of Marja’s Skis, illustrated by Jirina Marton, and The Red Sash and Dawn Watch, illustrated by Nicolas Debon. Jean’s debut adult novel, The Lightkeeper’s Daughters, will be published in 2017 in more than ten languages. Jean finds inspiration in the rich history, culture and geography of Northwestern Ontario where she lives in the shadow of the Nor’Wester Mountains near Lake Superior.

Jean E. Pendziwol's profile page

NATHALIE DION is an illustrator living in Montreal who studied Design Arts at Concordia University. Her other children's books include I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree by Jean E. Pendziwol, The Biggest Puddle in the World by Mark Lee and What's in Your Purse? by Abigail Samoun. Nathalie has received a number of awards for her illustration and has exhibited her work in Montreal galleries.


Nathalie Dion's profile page


  • Winner, 3x3 International Illustration Annual Merit Award
  • Long-listed, World Illustration Award
  • Commended, 49th Shelf Canadian Books of the Year
  • Commended, Globe 100 Favourite Books

Editorial Reviews

Along with Pendziwol’s poetic text, Dion’s illustrations shimmer with hope.

Globe and Mail

Play can be more than activity. It can be in the soul that sees beyond the doing, the now, the ephemeral. It can be in the hope of possibilities and Jean E. Pendziwol and Nathalie Dion help us see this in I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree.

CanLit for LittleCanadians

The gentle artwork guides readers through scenes of peacefulness and being alone in nature. Comfort abounds.

Sal’s Fiction Addiction Blog

[T]he text is poetic and the artwork is riveting.


Other titles by Jean E. Pendziwol

Other titles by Nathalie Dion

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