Someday a Tree

written by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ronald Himler

A young girl, her parents, and their neighbors try to save an old oak tree that has been poisoned by pollution.

A family relaxes and engages in picnics, naps, storytelling, and plain fun under a gigantic old oak tree. Alice notices that the oak's leaves are starting to fall, even though it is spring. A tree doctor discovers that the soil has been poisoned, probably by illegally dumped chemicals. Neighbors all pitch in but the tree dies despite the efforts to save it. The story ends on a hopeful note when Alice plants some acorns she has collected, one of which, someday, may grow into another giant oak.

The delicate watercolor paintings lift the mediocre text into a powerful story. The double page spread of the leafless, dying tree, alone in the blue of the night, is in sharp and poignant contrast to the first spread showing the family headed out toward a flourishing tree in the field.