Cover Image: The Pear Tree

The Pear Tree

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Lovely book and definitely worth a read, if only for the conversation that can be had with your children following the conclusion.
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A folk tale retelling with a happier ending than the original. Esperanza, an old woman whose pear tree grows the sweetest pears in Spain, is devastated when a hail storm freezes her tree and all the pears, ruining the crop she needed to sell to buy food. Even so, she gives her last preserved pear to a beggar woman who comes to her door one evening, and wakes to find her tree magically restored, and now it will trap anyone who climbs it and picks a pear, unless Esperanza says they may climb down. Soon she is healthy and strong again. Then Death comes for her, and she tricks him into climbing her tree to pick one last pear for her, and he becomes trapped. Now, no one can die, even animals can be butchered, but Esperanza won't budge. It isn't until Death tells her of a dear friend of hers who is ill, in pain, and suffering, that she decides to sacrifice her life to let Death down from the tree so her friend can be at peace. Death is so impressed that he tells her she may live as long as she likes, and because of this, we'll always have hope (Esperanza means "hope" in Spanish) in the world. The original version had Aunt Misery tricking Death only letting him free when he promised not to take her, so we always have misery. I like this version much better. In a note at the end of the book, the publisher lets us know that the author, Luli Gray, passed before the book was published, but she lives on in her work. A fun tale with a sassy heroine who is mostly good, but not entirely. The artwork compliments the story nicely, and is quite lovely.

#ThePearTree #NetGalley
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'The Pear Tree' by Luli Gray with illustrations by Madelyn Goodnight is a retelling of a famous fable about a crafty old woman.

Esperanza has a pear tree she is proud of.  When she only has one pear left, she gives it to a beggar.  In return, the beggar blesses Esperanza with the power to trap anyone in her tree.  When death comes for Esperanza, she tricks him in to the tree.  Now know one can die.  But is that a good thing?

I really liked this update on this fairy tale.  Especially the way the ending is changed with a different name.  I loved the beautiful illustrations that go along with the story.  This a classic picture book.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Penny Candy Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
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This is an illustrated retelling of a traditional folktale of an old woman who tricks death. However, Luli Gray changed the story in some positive ways. In this lovely retelling, the old woman is now called Esperanza, or Hope. The original story the old woman is Tia Miseria or Aunt Misery. She frees Señor Death because she is compassionate towards her old friend, Miguel Alonzo. She is the reason there is hope. She learns that taking death away has consequences such as animals can't be butchered, or the two parts of a beheaded soldier are still alive, these are anomalies, but most importantly, there are sick, suffering people waiting for the peace of death, like her old friend. When she realizes that death is necessary in some cases, Esperanza decides to free señor Death.

This is a lovely illustrated folktale that teaches about death as well as hope. As someone who recently lost someone to death, my prayers were that he did not suffer and this tale fits that perfectly. I hope this story helps others, especially children, understand that. This is a book that has its purpose. I think someone dealing with loss would be a good audience for this book, but I also believe that it would be best for children 8 and up.
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Fun story with good message but still a bit dark for younger readers because of the death theme. Kids may enjoy it though!
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A fresh take on a classic folktale from the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world, the Pear Tree confidently tackles the difficult topics of death and grief, armed with compassion and hope and presenting an opportunity for important conversation, especially for children recently affected by the passing of loved ones.

Gray’s love for and talent for writing for children is palpable, with a kind, playful tone and beautifully selected words that never speak down to their audience, this truly reads like a labour of love. The figures in the story feel alive and quirky, and the accompanying easy-on-the-eye illustrations have a wonderful sense of flow, reminiscent of the passage of time and the changing seasons.

Cheeky yet giving, passionate and caring, our hero Esperanza has strong potential to leave a lasting impression on young readers. Gray’s spark will live on in the Pear Tree.
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The Pear Tree
by Luli Gray


Penny Candy Books

Children's Fiction

Pub Date 08 Oct 2019


In this beautifully illustrated and written retelling of an old folktale Esperanza (who was originally called Tia Miseria) gives a beggar the last pear she had and is in turn rewarded with the best pear crop she has ever had as well as the power to trap anyone she wants on the pear tree.



When Death comes for Esperanza she tricks him into going up the pear tree and traps him there, from that point on he’s stuck and no one dies.  But after Esperanza learns the end to death does not mean the end to suffering she lets Death down to do his work.


This book is the final work by Legendary Author Luli Gray.



I give The Pear Tree five out of five stars!


Happy Reading!
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This is the best version of this fairy tale that I've encountered.  It is very thoughtful for a children's book, dealing with a very heavy subject (death) in a way that is not intimidating to children.  I like that it has a strong female protagonist (she is clever to trap death, and thoughtful enough to free him so that others can end their suffering even though death can then take her).  I highly recommend this book!
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The Pear Tree is the beautiful retelling of an old folk tale. In it, an old woman gives charity to a strange man, and is rewarded with powers revolving around her pear tree, When Death comes to take her, it's time for the clever woman to trick him - and find out what that entails.

The Pear Tree is a beautifully narrated story, accompanied by pretty illustrations. It's interesting, sweet, and leaves the reader with some very important life lessons. An interesting, short, and amusing story.
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The Pear Tree by Luli Gray is a cleverly reimagined telling of a classic folktale.  This beautifully illustrated tale tells the story of Esperanza, a woman who essentially cheats death, yet is willing to sacrifice her own life to end the suffering of her fellow man.  I have vague memories of being told the original version of this folktale when I was a child, but this retelling, in the hands of Ms Gray, has proven to be a more positive and uplifting take on a difficult subject.  Rather than being "Aunt Misery",  Esperanza is hope, both in name and action, and I believe that this reimagining will resonate with both children and adults alike.

I was saddened to learn that The Pear Tree was published following Luli Gray's death, but what a wonderful legacy to leave behind for future generations.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Penny Candy Books for this ARC.
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Luli Gray hit the jackpot with this tale. It is both captivating and moving. The illustrations were gorgeous. Her take on this tale is spot on, and I appreciate the time it went to translating and reinterpreting it for an English speaking audience.
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The illustrations are beautifully done, and I really enjoyed this retelling of the folktale. In it, Esparanza manages to trick death, but then is willing to sacrifice her life for a friend, so death tells her she may live as long as she'd like. In the end we learn that Esparanza means hope, and that's why there's always hope in the world.
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A beautiful retelling of a classic European folktale that tells of a touching tale about death, mortality and kindness.

Despite the heavy topics, Gray's writing is witty yet sensitive, and Goodnight's illustrations are stunningly vibrant, which together give a fresh and upbeat life to an old tale.
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Quando un mendicante bussa alla sua porta, la vecchia Esperanza non ha dubbi: gli regala immediatamente l'ultima pera del suo albero che, un tempo rigoglioso, non produce più.

Viene ricompensata con raccolti continui e e abbondanti e la capacità di intrappolare sull'albero stesso chiunque lei voglia: e tutto va bene, finché non capita da lei la Morte.

Perché, se è vero che è naturale voler godere ancora più la vita, fermare la Morte causa conseguenze terribili: tutto ciò che vive deve morire, in serenità o sofferenza.

Rielaborazione di una fiaba popolare, questo delicato racconto fa riflettere su temi fondamentali: la paura, il desiderio, il dolore, la morte, insita nella vista stessa.

Testo garbato e illustrazioni meravigliose presentano l'astuta vecchietta e la sua storia.
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"The Pear Tree" is the retelling of a classic folktale that is suitable for all ages. The artwork is nice and simple and the story is easy to follow and understand. This is a really nice twist on an old tale of death coming for someone and being outwitted by a clever man or woman, this story has a different twist at the end which makes it stand out.
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A lovely illustrated book that teaches about hope and death. As someone who also gets scared by the idea of dying and has lost some to death, this book explained again that death is inevitable and also necessary, in the best way possible. I believe this will help others, especially children, understand that too.

This is an illustrated retelling of a traditional folktale of an old woman who tricks death. However, Luli Gray positively changed the story. The woman was originally named Tia Miseria, Aunt Misery. The folktale told about how Misery tricked death and is therefore immortal. In this lovely retelling, the old woman isn't known by that name anymore, she is now called Esperanza, Hope. She frees Señor Death because she is compassionate towards her old friend, Miguel Alonzo. She is the reason there is hope. She learns that taking death away has consequences: animals can't be butchered, the two parts of a beheaded soldier are still alive ... but most importantly: there are sick, suffering people waiting for the peace of death, like her old friend. That's the reason Esperanza decides to free señor Death.

In conclusion: this was beautifully illustrated, short but with a good message.
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This proved to be a very nice folktale retelling, of a story which I was not previously familiar with.  Enjoyable and well-rounded.  It was rather short, but it worked well.
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ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher. 

I wasn't aware of this fairy tale until now and I'm glad I read this. While classic fairy tales often stray into pessimism, this modern retelling is positive and optimistic. The story is easy to follow, with some fantastic, vibrant artwork by Madelyn Goodnight. It is a story that can help a young reader understand that death is an inevitability in life and that it is also necessary.
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What a lovely, hopeful story about a woman called Esperanca who tricks "Senor Death." This story is written in a way that it can be read and discussed with children. And the illustrations are wonderfully positive and colorful. Would definately recomment.
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Very much worth anyone's consideration, this book turns a folk tale I have to admit to not knowing on its head.  The real thing, apparently, is much darker – but this still features an elderly woman gifted a magic quality to her pear tree through an act of kindness, and the man that comes to visit us all – Mr Death.  Both the older and this woman get their way, but this book has a much more positive outcome than previous tellings.  It also looks superb – the faultless style of the artwork is really to the volume's credit.  Four and a half stars.
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