The Gumdrop Tree by Elizabeth Spurr, illustrated by Julia Gorton (1994).
The Gumdrop Tree is told from the first person, so we’re getting this little polka dot girl’s point of view. She tells the story. And that’s important.
click image(s) to enlarge.
It’s the story of how her father gave her gumdrops and they looked so sweet and sparkly that she couldn’t eat them. “Because then they would be all gone.”
So she planted the gumdrops in the garden. She’d once planted a peach tree from a seed, so why not a gumdrop tree? Right?!
There’s something so straightforward about this book despite an element of wonder. That there aren’t any contractions is just one example of its straightforwardness. But it’s everything—the language, the story, the airbrush illustrations. It reminds me of a fairy tale that way.
Those gumdrops, the ones she’d grown (wink, wink), she ate. All of them, every single color until they were gone.
And then you’re left with this last wordless page. And it makes you wonder, “What are those strings about?” and “Who could’ve tied those gumdrops to the branches?” Personally, I’d look to the guy in the white sailor hat and his wife, but I’m not the final word on the subject.
As a bonus, illustrator Julie Gorton provided us with this photo of her daughter dressed as The Gumdrop Tree Girl for Halloween in 1995. Handmade costume and rag doll to go with it! Amazing!
My favorite part is her Doc Martens!
Just looking at gumdrops makes me happy. I mean, remember playing CANDYLAND?
And look at those gumdrop people Restless Risa created!!! The gumdrop shoes! The half-gumdrop cap sleeves! I could gaze on these for a very long time and be perfectly content. Glad as a gumdrop even.
The most psychedelic candy I’ve ever seen and I love the shapes and colors. Sugar is a staple in all of Pip & Pop’s work.
For the science minded, there’s The Homeschool Scientist‘s gumdrop engineering structure to try.
Or, the chemical elements gone gumdrop at Elaine Vickers‘s blog.