Laura Jane Coats has written a story that spans nearly a century of farming life in California.  In the year 1900, a little girl’s father plants an almond orchard: that little girl is Coat’s grandmother. This story is gently told, and both text and illustrations show how much the world  can change in a lifetime.

As Coats narrates the story of her grandmother’s life, we are taken on a tour through the world of farming in days when life was simpler, but work was hard.  Observing the seasons, the different work required at different times of year, the story of the almond production is told both in the text, and in the clear illustrations.

As the years progress, the days of horse drawn wagons and burlap bags are surpassed by new methods of farming, transportation and processing. New ideas for the use of almonds produce a variety of products.

Some things remain unchanged even though the world looks very different when the little girl has grown old.  The crops are still dependent on the weather, the seasons come and go, and the orchard still looks beautiful in bloom.