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, 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 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, as the festival artist Miranda sketched the performance, and later sent the sketch to Richard who thought the it was fabulous and perfectly captured the scene. 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 2018 Richard started taking the story and some of Miranda’s early sketches to schools. The feedback from children and teachers was overwhelmingly positive.
Even though Miranda and Richard’s working schedules were busy with other projects they continued to work on Anna and the Apple tree whenever they could.
By late 2018 a primary school had been chosen to become their partner in the final stages of the book. Children had the opportunity to hear the latest version, and to have Miranda draw some of the characters live. Children then had the opportunity to work on the editing of the book.
The first version of Anna and the Apple tree will be available in early 2019
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.
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.
In the daylight the apple tree didn’t look so scary, in fact Anna thought it looked rather sad.
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.
* 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