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Aunt Mary's Rose    by Douglas Wood & LeUyen Pham order for
Aunt Mary's Rose
by Douglas Wood
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2010 (2010)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

I was at my Aunt Mary's house one day when she asked me to water the rose bush in her yard. 'Take care of this rose, Douglas,' Aunt Mary said. 'And one day there will be a little bit of you inside it. And a little bit of the rose inside of you.'

Well, I took real good care of that rose bush but I didn't see me in it or it in me. I asked my aunt about that since I didn't understand what she meant. 'Well, Douglas,' she said, smiling. 'It's not really something you see. It's more something that you feel.'

Unfortunately, that didn't make a lot of sense to me and my Aunt Mary could tell I was still unsure what she meant so she sat down with me and told me a story.

That story is the subject of this picture book. Aunt Mary explained that when she was a little girl her father asked her to take care of that very rose bush. It had already been in the family for a generation and it was her turn to watch over it.

Aunt Mary then told me how my father and his brother came to live on her parent's farm. Something had happened to their mom and dad so the boys grew up there with Aunt Mary watching over them. Of course, the boys helped her care for the family rose bush.

Over the years the boys grew up and went off to fight in the war but only one brother, my dad, returned safely. The whole family felt terrible but, as my Aunt Mary explained, when she smells the blossoms of the rose bush or clips a flower to put in the house, she feels close to all the people she loves who have died.

After finishing the story Aunt Mary asked me, 'Do you understand?' Of course, I nodded my head but I'm not totally sure I do understand. But now I know the rose bush is important to our family. Now when I water it I think of the story my aunt told me and of all the other people who have cared for it.

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