This is an enchanting and magical variant of the favorite fairy tale. Like the tree planted to honor her birth, Pear Blossom is beautiful, and the pride of her elderly mother and father. But then her mother dies, and her father remarries. Pear Blossom’s stepmother resents her new daughter’s beauty. Out of jealousy, she makes Pear Blossom perform impossible chores while her own daughter, Peony, watches idly. But fortunately, Pear Blossom is not alone. With the help of magical creatures—togkabis—she can accomplish each task, and triumph over her stepmother’s cruelty.
<p>Shirley Climo’s love of folklore began in her childhood and has provided the background for many of her children’s books, such as <em>The Korean Cinderella, Magic & Mischief: Tales from Cornwall, A Treasury of Princesses: Princess Tales from Around the World, A Treasury of Mermaids: Mermaid Tales from Around the World, </em> and <em>Someone Saw a Spider: Spider Facts and Folktales, </em> an NCTE Teacher’s Choice and Library of Congress Best Children’s Book that was originally inspired by her research for <em>Cobweb Christmas.</em> Mrs. Climo and her husband live in Los Altos, California.</p>
After receiving a fine arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and completing two years of graduate work in design at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, <b>Ruth Heller</b> (1923-2004) began her career designing wrapping paper, cocktail napkins, greeting cards, and coloring books. After five years of rejection and one complete revision, Heller’s first book, <i>Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones</i>, about egg-laying animals, was published in 1981. It was so successful that the sequel, and second book to be published, <i>Animals Born Alive And Well</i> (1982), about mammals, quickly followed. In 1983 and 1984, her third and fourth titles, <i>The Reason For A Flower</i> (about plants that have seeds and flowers) and <i>Plants That Never Ever Bloom</i> (about plants that do not) were published.