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On a lavender blue day Anna Lavinia packs her carpetbag with pawpaw jelly (her cat Strawberry stows away), takes the plum colored umbrella with the gold handle and sets out to visit her Aunt Sophia Maria.

While this will be her first excursion beyond the red brick wall that circles her home, Anna Lavinia’s home schooling has prepared her to recognize the flowers that bloom after rain in the desert and take in her stride a long ride in a run-away train and a town that floats three feet above the desert floor.

The story is enriched with numerous selections from the Songs from Nowhere and illustrated by the author’s finely-detailed drawings.

This, the author’s first book, was published in 1954. The author served as a Major in the Army Air Force and on the jacket flap of the first edition we learn that:

The story was written to amuse, and to provide its readers with something that is neither the history of the man who invented shoelaces nor an explanation of how to build a birchbark box kite or raise electric eels in the bathtub.

If it has any morale at all, it is hoped that it will always be a deep secret between the author and those of his readers who still know that believing is seeing.

Swedish, Danish, English and German editions were published but it was seldom reprinted in the United States.

Not a few used book dealers thought they had acquired the author’s dedication copy, which was printed on the front free end paper.

Approached about a new edition, the author declined on the grounds that Anna Lavinia’s time had passed.

It was finally reprinted in 2012, the year of the author’s death.

Beyond the Pawpaw Trees is an "All Time Great Children's Book." For more than 3,500 other ATGCB, click here.

A two-page spread maps Anna Lavinia’s travels:

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