Jean E. Pendziwol’s newest picture book is a lyrical meditation on nature and hope.

The child in this story observes the sun by playing with her shadow, though sometimes it disappears. She listens to the wind tell stories, even when it howls like wolves. She tastes snowflakes — sometimes sweet and delicate; other times sharp on her cheeks. And finally, she finds hope in the buds on a cherry tree that survive through the winter to blossom in spring.

Jean E. Pendziwol has written a layered, lyrical exploration of the hardships and beauties of nature. Her poem, beautifully illustrated by Nathalie Dion, is a study in contrasts and a message of the hope that carries us through the year and through our lives.


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.


  • Commended, 49th Shelf Canadian Books of the Year 2020
  • Commended, Globe 100 Favourite Books 2020
  • Winner, 3x3 International Illustration Annual Merit Award 2020
  • Long-listed, World Illustration Award 2020


[T]he text is poetic and the artwork is riveting.

- Postmedia

The gentle artwork guides readers through scenes of peacefulness and being alone in nature. Comfort abounds.

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction Blog

Along with Pendziwol’s poetic text, Dion’s illustrations shimmer with hope.

- Globe and Mail

Play can be more than activity. It can be in the soul that sees beyond the doing, the now, the ephemeral. It can be in the hope of possibilities and Jean E. Pendziwol and Nathalie Dion help us see this in I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree.

- CanLit for LittleCanadians