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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
The Royal Palm by Mrs. D. joins this author’s growing collection of richly illustrated and highly imaginative stories for children. In this latest tale, a beautiful specimen tree has been planted in a special garden, fulfilling her life-long wish to leave behind her small island and move to the mainland. While pondering the circumstances which brought her to that point, the silvery Royal Palm reflects upon the true friends she left behind, who accepted her just as she was in spite of her assumed arrogance toward them. She recalls the hurricane she thought would destroy her, and remembers how the smaller, more common palm trees rallied round her to protect her from the blowing sand, waves and wind. While she expects to be happy in her new life, she comes to the realization that she will always miss her old friends, regardless of how many new friends she may one day have.
The Royal Palm is a wonderful fantasy, told in the flowery language one might expect from an anthropomorphized tree, the wind, and other elements of a tropical paradise. Intended to facilitate the growth of a child’s imagination, this story also comes complete with a valuable life lesson. As they become a part of the story, young readers will learn to appreciate the other people in their lives. They will learn that it is not always wise to prejudge those around them because a day of reckoning may come when those whom they might think poorly of will become the ones on whom the child must depend for help. Although understated, The Royal Palm shouts loud and clear to young readers: “Don’t judge by appearances. It’s what’s inside that counts.” This very well-written tale from Mrs. D. is a must-have, particularly for early/intermediate readers.