**Winner of the 2017Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award **
**Winner of the 2015 Gelett Burgess Award for Best Intercultural Book**
**Winner of the 2015 Silver Evergreen Medal for World Peace**
This true children's story is told by a little bonsai tree, called Miyajima, that lived with the same family in the Japanese city of Hiroshima for more than 300 years before being donated to the National Arboretum in Washington DC in 1976 as a gesture of friendship between America and Japan to celebrate the American Bicentennial.
From the Book:
"In 1625, when Japan was a land of samurai and castles, I was a tiny pine seedling. A man called Itaro Yamaki picked me from the forest where I grew and took me home with him. For more than three hundred years, generations of the Yamaki family trimmed and pruned me into a beautiful bonsai tree. In 1945, our household survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In 1976, I was donated to the National Arboretum in Washington D.C., where I still live today--the oldest and perhaps the wisest tree in the bonsai museum."
Grades 1-3. This fact-based picture book is narrated by the main character—a bonsai tree. The white pine describes how it began life in a forest, was taken as a souvenir by Itara Yamaki, and was carefully groomed into a bonsai tree for more than three centuries. Generation after generation carefully tended the pine, and it thrived until 1945, when the Hiroshima atom bomb exploded two miles away. Against all odds, the tree survived, eventually becoming a gift to the U.S. for its bicentennial. Today, the bonsai continues to thrive in the National Arboretum, where it receives many visitors, including current members of the Yamaki family. The narrative judiciously provides just enough detail so that young readers can appreciate the intricacies of bonsai, the devastation of the bombing, and the significance of the gift. Richly detailed illustrations in a warm, saturated palette mirror the calm tenor of the narrative and its emphasis on the natural world. Closing with an author’s note about the real tree and information on bonsai, this welcoming story is a powerful tribute to peace.