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Children's Fiction General

The Shade Tree

illustrated by Suzy Lee

translated by Helen Mixter

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Aug 2023
General, Adaptations, Humorous Stories
Recommended Age
4 to 10
Recommended Grade
p to 5
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


From Hans Christian Andersen award winner Suzy Lee comes an inventive retelling of a Korean folk tale about a young traveler who outwits a rich, selfish man to ensure that villagers will always be able to rest in the shade of a magnificent tree.

“A gorgeous fable celebrating generosity and wit.”—Kirkus, STARRED review

Villagers like to come to rest and cool down in the shade of a huge, old tree. But when a young traveler decides to join them one day, a rich man on whose land the tree stands demands they leave because he owns the tree and therefore its shade. Thinking fast, the traveler strikes a deal: one that will enable him to outsmart the rich man—and ensure that the villagers will always have access to the shade tree's shade, wherever it may fall.

With simple, elegant illustrations, The Shade Tree is a striking story about one person's quest to combat greed for the greater good.


An Aldana Libros Book, Greystone Kids


About the authors

2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award winning illustrator Suzy Lee is a critically acclaimed, award-winning Korean picture book artist and illustrator. Her books include Mirror, Wave, and Shadow, which are known collectively as "The Border Trilogy."

Suzy Lee's profile page

Helen Mixter is a writer and the translator of several children's books, including the Governor General's Award-winning Harvey.

Helen Mixter's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Captivating… a great choice for story sequencing and problem-resolution…would allow even pre-readers familiar with the story to follow along and re-tell it on their own."
—Children's Literature

“Children can learn much from this carefully constructed parable... The Shade Tree shows us that we can greatly enrich our lives by reaching out-and sharing.”
—Quill & Quire

“Certain to resonate with young readers."
—Publishers Weekly

“Delicate paintwork... Suzy Lee uses spare language and illustration to retell a traditional Korean folktale.”
—The Wall Street Journal

"Small but evocative artistic details continually reward re-readers… All the cleverer for its minimal depictions, this tale has maximal resonance as societies embrace collaborative solidarity and community care."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books review

"(A) thought-provoking volume about sharing, community and the undoing of selfishness."
—STARRED Youth Service Book Review

“The soothing cadence of the story paired with the simple but beautiful illustrations and amusing ending make for a calming and satisfying read, translated from Korean and reformatted for a North American audience. A gorgeous fable celebrating generosity and wit.”
Kirkus, STARRED review


Other titles by Helen Mixter