The Paper-Flower Tree


Miss Moon draws derision from her fellow villagers when she plants a black seed, bought from the old man she saw passing along the city road to the city carrying a bunch of beautiful paper-flower tree on a bamboo stick. ‘Miss Moon, you can’t possibly grow a tree from a bead.’

Miss Moon remembers the paper-flower tree twinkling in the sun and has faith that the little black bead on a string will bloom. She plants it deep in the earth and watches and waits as the rice fields are planted, transplanted and gathered. Days and months pass, until…

The Paper-Flower Tree is a gentle, special, timeless book. Jacqueline Ayer’s beautiful illustrations give the setting a reality and Miss Moon’s patient faith authenticity.

We recommend ‘The Paper- Flower Tree‘ to all readers, from the young to adult. It is an ideal gift book; definitely a  title to treasure, like a paper-flower tree.

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The Paper-Flower Tree

A Tale from Thailand

Jacqueline Ayer

(Enchanted Lion Books)

Miss Moon watches the ebb and flow of travellers along the road that skirts the rice fields. When she sees an old man carrying a bamboo stick from which hang paper flowers, she is entranced! Might a coin buy her a seed to grow something magical? It seems the other villagers are dubious. After all, the seed is not really a seed, but a bead! This seems to be the stuff of nonsense! However, Miss Moon ignores their cynicism. Thereafter, it seems she may be rewarded…
The Paper-Flower Tree, was written in 1959 by designer and illustrator Jacqueline Ayer. It seems she collected stories from her Thai childhood:-  Jacqueline Ayer inspiration and life.  Moreover, in this story, she seems to recreate the feelings of her memory of the light, tones and scents of Thailand. Then again, there’s the feel of the paper, wherein we can almost experience the path, the fields, the sky. What’s more the tones, lemon and lime centred, call to mind the great broad sky and the horizon of possibilities sought by Miss Moon. reality- is it this that gives her hope with the black beads? Thereafter, where might something such as the peddler carries take our heroine? We imagine, as we do through books such as What Did the Tree See?. It seems as though she can imagine something well beyond her  Bookwagon recommends this title for readers of all ages, to wonder over, keep, treasure and gift. The Paper-Flower Tree is a book to love.


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