The Paper-Flower Tree
Written and illustrated by Jacqueline Ayer
One wonderful day, an old peddler arrives in the small village in faraway Thailand where a little girl named Miss Moon lives. He brings a tree with him, fashioned of brightly colored paper flowers. How Miss Moon longs to have such a tree! When the old man gives her one of the flowers in parting, she plants its seed—a black bead—and tends it faithfully. Little black beads can't sprout and grow, of course, but Miss Moon's faith is rewarded all the same.
Filled with the sights and sounds of Thailand, this touching tale is true to childhood the world over. In these pages, Ayer's bold color and expressive illustrations draw us into a world that feels both intriguingly foreign and wonderfully familiar.
Back in print for the first time since 1962, Jacqueline Ayer wrote and illustrated this wonderful book while living and working in Thailand.
Jacqueline Ayer was an American author, illustrator, fashion and textile designer, and recipient of a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators. Born in New York City to Jamaican parents, her father was a graphic artist who founded the first licensed African-American modeling agency in the United States. Her mother was a sample cutter and shop steward in NYC's fashion district. Ayer attended the High School of Music and Art and then Syracuse University. She continued her studies in Paris, which led to work as an assistant fashion illustrator. There, she met Christian Dior and Michel de Brunhoff, leading to work as an illustrator for Vogue and Bonwit Teller in New York.
Her marriage to Fred Ayer led to a move to Thailand, where she wrote and illustrated children's books and started the fashion company Design Thai, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Her experience designing textiles can be seen in her illustrations. Later in life, she worked in India for craft and textile development under Indira Gandhi and in New York and London designing home furnishings for companies including Bloomingdale's and Conran.
Enchanted Lion Books, 2017 (first reprint edition), copyright 1959, hardcover, 10 x 7.75 in, 40 pages.