When Grandma Gives You A Lemon Tree

Written by: Jamie L. B. Deenihan

Illustrated by: Lorraine Rocha

For ages: 3 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Family, Love, Rhyming, Community, Independence, Etiquette.

Summary: This book is SO cute!  The story begins with our main character making a birthday wish list filled with electronics.  What she receives however, is unexpected…a lemon tree!

The clever part of this book is it teaches proper politeness etiquette when receiving something unexpected for a gift and ties in helping the community.  The illustrations assist with the lesson, helping the reader and audience understand what not to do so that feelings of the gift-giver are not hurt!

The story goes through what to do and what not to do in the care and keeping of a lemon tree.  Water, sunlight, and year-round care until….lemons!! The main character and her grandma pick lemons and make some delicious lemonade. Remember those electronics that she wanted?  What better way to get them than to earn the money yourself?  The main character sets up a stand in the neighborhood, earning the money for the items she wanted.  Upon getting to the store, she sees a huge plant sale! The young girl buys enough plants to jazz up the vacant lot near her apartment building, beautifying the space for everyone (who finally look up from their electronics to notice the beauty surrounding them)!

Reflection Questions:

  • Have you ever received something unexpected for a gift?
  • How did you react?
  • Do you think this book would have helped you learn some solutions for handling the unexpected gift graciously?
  • How do you think the main character felt when she was able to help the community with her lemonade stand?
  • What is something you would like to do for your community or neighborhood?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Make the recipe in the back of the book!  What do you think of it?
  • Being responsible enough to make your own money is a big job.  What is something you would like to save up for?  What would happen after this goal is achieved?  Could the goal be considered beneficial for someone other than you?  For instance, is it helpful to the community you’re a part of, or siblings?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

YrcPsKgb_400x400Jamie was a first grade teacher and certified reading specialist in Western Massachusetts for ten years. After her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015, she took time away from her classroom to be home with her family, teach part-time, and pursue a writing career.

Her debut picture book, WHEN GRANDMA GIVES YOU A LEMON TREE, illustrated by Lorraine Rocha, was released on March 5, 2019.  To learn about Jamie’s other upcoming picture books, please visit the “Books” page of this website.

Jamie lives in Connecticut, near the family farm she grew up on, with her husband, two children, and a growing collection of lemon trees. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Julie Hedlund’s 12X12 Picture Book Challenge. Jamie is represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Agency.  

biopictureLorraine Rocha started out studying architecture but quickly realized she wanted to draw more than just floor plans and returned to school to study illustration and animation at San Jose State University. After graduation, she worked at Industrial Light + Magic in the art department, contributing to such films as National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Miracle at St. Anna, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Ironman.

Following her time at ILM, Lorraine worked as a concept artist on the game Bioshock 2 and taught classes at The Art Institute of Las Vegas.

Upon her return to the San Francisco bay area, Lorraine focused on picture book illustration, and creating funny, whimsical images. Lorraine’s debut picture book, Zebra On The Go, will be published in 2017.

Lorraine lives with her two favorite people, her husband and daughter. All three enjoy singing and dancing, and Lorraine’s cooking.

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