Anna and the Apple Tree
Introducing Anna and the Apple Tree
A collaboration between
Richard O’Neill & Miranda Smith
Anna and the Apple Tree is a contemporary yet timeless, magical story about a girl who strikes up a friendship with an old apple tree. The apple tree has to produce at least one fruit to prevent it being felled by the local authority. Anna sets out to make sure the apple tree has the best possible chance of surviving and to prove to everyone that the tree is worth saving. The apple tree pays her back in a spectacular way..
The story behind the story;
On a visit to Worcestershire in the summer of 2017 as Richard was delivering a family storytelling session as part of a literature festival, Miranda sketched the scene, and later sent the sketch to Richard who thought the it was fabulous and perfectly captured the session. The timing couldn’t have been better as once back home he had been inspired by rescuing a small apple tree from a pile of rubbish to start working on a new story about an apple tree. A further dimension was added to the story a couple of weeks later whilst at the international storytelling festival in Budapest where apples and trees were also a discussion point.
Over the following months of 2017 the first draft of the story was sent to Miranda who prepared initial illustrations and over the following months the illustrations and the story developed.
In November 2017 the story was taken to two primary, and one junior school where the illustrations were shown on a screen whilst the story was read live to over 250 children, from the ages of 6 to 11. The responses to the story from children and teachers were fantastic! With every teacher saying they would buy it as a book. We are so pleased at the reaction to the book, which has spurred us on to get it finished. We’re nearly there!!
We hope to have the story and the illustrations fully finished in early 2018. Then we will start looking at ways of getting it published. Whether that be with a traditional publisher or to go down a crowd funding type route.
Whatever happens to Anna and the Apple tree, there is one thing that won’t change, the fact that the project has been an absolute pleasure to work on.
We’ve enclosed below a little taster, enjoy!
Anna lived in the city, bright lights, busy streets, and a park with a mega-slide, her mother’s new job meant they had to move out to the country. Anna was worried, the city was the only place she’d ever known, but at least Grandad would be with them, that cheered Anna up.
ILLUSTRATION NOTE: Anna looking out of her window in the cottage.
Anna and her family moved into an old cottage in a village in the countryside, it was quiet and dark, no mega-slide no busy streets. All she could see from her new bedroom window was a big, gnarled, menacing old apple tree.
ILLUSTRATION NOTE: Looking at the leafless tree
In the daylight the apple tree didn’t look so scary, in fact Anna thought it looked rather sad.
ILLUSTRATION NOTE: The next door neighbour telling Grandad and Anna about the tree
The next door neighbour Florrie popped her head above the garden wall, and told them all about the village and the problem with the old apple tree. ‘It never grows any fruit, and I doubt if it ever will, it’s pretty useless’ she said dismissively.
ILLUSTRATION NOTE: Anna’s grandad unearthing a slug and accidentally sending it flying, Anna avoiding it and hugging the tree, mum laughing
Anna still wasn’t sure she liked her new home. When in the garden Grandad tried to cheer her up by messing about, he accidentally sent a huge slug flying towards her, she dived to avoid it and ended up hugging the tree. As they all laughed, Anna wondered if she was the first person ever to hug the old apple tree.
* Richard is also currently working on:
* The Chronicles of Margaret (not her real name), Margaret is a much loved favourite character in schools (KS2 and above). And due to popular demand her (mis)adventures have started to be written down.
Click on the file below to read more about Margaret
* BlokenBot a story and workshop which celebrates blokes, but also includes those boys who may not have a current positive male role model.
Bradley doesn't have a Dad or Grandad, so Bradley decides to make his own, the result is 'BlokenBot', the worlds most amazing robot bloke.
* Northern Power Mouse, a Mouse on a mission.
Click on the file below to find out more
* A folk-Literacy crossover project 'Literally Folk' featuring tales about teachers in schools, for teachers in schools.
* A new collection of monologues for young adults, based in secondary school.
* A number of children's novels and picture books.
* A new clean up and recycling project
* A new interactive writing workshop 'King Author and the Writes of the Round Table.'
* A new play for children
* A Grandparents storytelling festival