'Aerts' story resonates honestly and clearly with reassurance that friendship can weather changes and bridge distances. Memorable and visually rich.'
– Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
'This Dutch import depicts two young friends who live in a rural village surrounded by cherry orchards. Their relationship is upended by Adin s family s move to the city. Separated and lonely, they each plant cherry seeds to lead the way to the other, and a touch of magical realism in the resulting cherry blossoms creates a beautiful path for their friendship. The artwork, hand-drawn with pen and gouache, uses soft pastels and lush spreads that follow the spare text.'
– School Library Journal
'Quiet, polished gouache-and-pen spreads of cherry orchards and winding European streets soften the story of dear friends Dina and, who are forced to say goodbye to each other... Belgian writer Aerts sets his story about deep friendship, gracefully translated, against a backdrop of natural beauty.'
– Publishers' Weekly
'Words fail me in my attempt to provide a review that captures how moving and sweet this story is. Whether you were the friend that had to move away or the friend that stayed when someone else did, the loss is real and difficult. But, Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes shows how distance in miles does not mean distance in heart as we watch Dina and Adin work through their loneliness and grief when Adin's family moves away.'
– A Garden of Books'
'A lovely story of friendship near and far. The illustrations are breathtaking and enhance the story immensely. Subtle nods to differences in race and class – and how they can mean little to children but have greater implications /7ndash; will make good discussion points for older readers, but anyone who has ever moved or had a friend move away will appreciate this story. Incredibly captivating.'
– Tildy Banker-Johnson, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA for Indie Bound
'[This book] has a lovely quiet to it. From the quiet friendship spent together in trees eating cherries to the quiet of loneliness for a close friend, all are captured on these pages. The emotions of a friend leaving are captured beautifully too as is the lasting connection between people and places. The writing is superb, celebrating cherries and trees and steadily building to that moment in spring when trees burst into bloom.
The art of this picture book celebrates the countryside and nature. The book captures the seasons with different colors and silhouettes of the trees. The rich green of summer turns to the browns of autumn to the whites of winter and then to a vibrant light green of spring that reaches to the city with its illumination on the page.
A lovely look at a cherry of a friendship.'
– Waking Brain Cells
'The illustrations provided by Sanne te Loo are absolutely beautiful – especially the beautiful landscape of the fruit farm and the cherry blossom trees blooming in the spring. While reading this book, the first thought that came to me was that this would be perfect for a child who is moving, or even going to another school and might be missing some special friends. This shows that any friendship a child has does not need to end just because of a move...
A beautiful story with equally beautiful illustrations.'
– Youth Services Book Review, 5/5
K-Gr 3—This Dutch import depicts two young friends who live in a rural village surrounded by cherry orchards. Their relationship is upended by Adin's family's move to the city. Separated and lonely, they each plant cherry seeds to lead the way to the other, and a touch of magical realism in the resulting cherry blossoms creates a beautiful path for their friendship. The artwork, hand-drawn with pen and gouache, uses soft pastels and lush spreads that follow the spare text. Though a testament to friendship that plays out all over the world, the story has a dated and distinctly Northern European feel. Some elements feel discomfiting in terms of racial and socioeconmoic dynamics. Dina, who is white, lives at the top of the hill in a big house, and brown-skinned Adin lives at the bottom, in a travel trailer: "Adin's mother worked on the farm picking fruit." Adin's family moves suddenly, for a better life that in classic storybook fashion is instantly realized, and the friendship continues despite the barriers, but readers are unlikely to feel a connection to the characters or their situation. VERDICT A rural European setting and lack of cultural insight limits the audience for this attractive tribute to childhood friendships. An additional purchase.—Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence
A deep connection between friends blossoms after winter.
Adin and Dina live on a fruit farm, blonde, white Dina "at the top of the hill" and black-haired, brown-skinned Adin, whose mother works picking fruit, "at the bottom." So close that each "knew what the other one was thinking," they share a love of cherries, climbing into the trees to eat the fruit and saving the pits to plant around the village. Te Loo's gouache-and-pen illustrations are gentle, filled with greens and yellows that are echoed in the village and, later, more subtly, in the city Adin and his mother move to. Each double-page spread shows a world that is wide yet comfortably familiar. When Adin and his mother leave, the sense of loss is conveyed simply. Dina presents Adin with a farewell bag of cherry pits, "self-picked and self-spat out." When she visits him in the city Dina is momentarily without words seeing Adin, hair combed, in "smart new clothes." But Adin has been tossing cherry pits from his apartment balcony and shows Dina how he's found a way to send the seeds even farther via paper plane. When spring arrives the cherry trees seem to light a path between the two friends. Aerts' story, translated from the Dutch, resonates honestly and clearly with reassurance that friendship can weather changes and bridge distances.
Memorable and visually rich. (Picture book. 3-7)