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Bunica's Tomatoes

The Tale Behind the Story

What inspired me to write Bunica’s Tomatoes?

My son has always been awe-stricken by the fact that a plant can grow from a tiny seed. At three years old, he planted some carrot seeds and was amazed at the sight of carrots growing from a tiny seed. He kept saying, “Did that grow from a seed?” And I would say, “Yes, my darling.” Even now, as a teenager, he says the same thing.

Then, there is my Uncle Donald who is an avid gardener. Every time I visit him in the summer he would refer to his seedlings growing and say, “It’s magic to them,” referring to the sun and the rain.

My daughter would pick one tomato, take one bite out of it and put it aside, take another and take one single bite out of it and again, put it aside. She would guard the half-bitten tomatoes with the nook of her arm. I can only imagine how those huge red shiny, juicy tomatoes would have looked to a year old child.

Last but not least my late mother-in-law Maria. Every summer she would grow the biggest and the juiciest tomatoes in her summer home in Transylvania, at the foot of the Carpathian mountains. I always thought there was magic happening in her tomato garden because her tomatoes were truly, sweet, huge, delicious and indeed bigger than my hands. My daughter would follow Maria, her grandmother - Bunica and eat the huge tomatoes. To this day, I still use the seeds she gave me to grow her heirloom tomatoes.

I scribbled this story on a paper, and I read it to my son. He smiled and said, “It’s a good story mummy, you should make it into a book.”

 

Book Synopsis

Bunica’s Tomatoes is an all too familiar story of a plant growing from a seed into a majestic fruit-bearing tree. The story is set in a rustic Transylvanian village where time is preserved. A six-year-old girl witnesses the growing process with her three-year-old brother as told by their watchful, yet loving and fun grandmother.
The little girl anxiously waits for the moment when the harvest can be enjoyed. The child’s awe and wonder spill from every page of this vibrantly colourful and highly detailed illustrated book. The passing of the seasons, nature's life cycle and the plants' unabated evolution are all captured attentively, with each page  uncovering new wonders for readers to discover. The story ends with a strange magical twist where creation is revealed in an unlikely, yet charming way.

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