An introspective and tender story chronicling the life journey of a special tree depicts an affecting interpretation of the cycle of life and giving through generations of a family.
When a young samara seed named Ash is brought by the winds to Boston he begins a voyage from a hearty park tree to a seafaring adventurer to an old wood craftsman’s legacy.
Ash’s early years have given him the joy of children swinging from his branches, a treehouse perched within his limbs, and a smitten older girl and boy who carved their initials within a heart into his bark. But when a Nor’easter and violent rain come, it fells Ash and the tree ends up floating in the Mystic River and used for a beaver’s dam.
Taken from the river to a shipyard, a paunchy man sees in Ash the perfect mast for his old sea captain father’s sailboat, Wendi. The old man, also a wood craftsman, uses his tools to fashion Ash into a majestic mast. As they set out to sea, it’s then that Ash meets the essence of Wendi, a sworn breath of wind bound to the vessel. Together Ash and Wendi experience many years of seafaring with the aging captain until the ailing old man must settle his joy for the sea in watching his young grandson, Grant, learn to sail.
Back in the Boston Harbor, a superstorm causes Ash’s mast to snap like a twig, giving Ash and Wendi pause to reminisce about their many years together exploring. The sea captain takes Ash once again to his wood shop where he creates what will be his lasting legacy, a baseball bat for his grandson, earning Ash a prominent place in baseball history—alongside his faithful seamate Wendi—and in the generations of lives he touched.
Reminiscent of enduring classics like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, Banks’s Whittle Me This uses reflective storytelling and cerebral language that families and educators of young children will enjoy themselves alongside their young readers with a parable that celebrates the metamorphosis of life and its relationships.
Targeted Age Group:: 5-8 years old
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Children’s book author Clifford Banks has always loved storytelling and first put pen to paper as a teenager with a short story. That early experience stayed with him as he honed his skills until a serendipitous bowling game with his cousin turned into a creative brainstorm session. It was just what he needed to propel him into publishing Whittle Me This, his new picture book about an uprooted tree’s continuing journey through life, paralleling three generations of men chasing their dreams.
Clifford’s inspiration for writing is to create a story that his third-grade self would have enjoyed and that also helps foster in his two young nephews’ a lifelong love of reading. He believes a great story is one with relatable characters and expressive storytelling that draw children in. Clifford hopes his young readers come away from his stories with a curiosity for language and the visual arts and that this stays with them long after the book is closed.
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy on Amazon