The Weeping Pussy Willow by Tamara Frankel: childhood memories

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

The Weeping Pussy Willow evokes wistful childhood memories, mingled with an adult realisation of a deeper meaning.


Recently our family needed to clear the home of my late mother and father who’d lived in their bungalow for over 37 years.


Kneeling in the loft sorting through my childhood belongings which had languished there for many years I uncovered a battered copy of the The Weeping Pussy Willow by Tamara Frankel, illustrated by Simon Frankel.





How the memories came flooding back.


It was a favourite book of mine when I was small. My mother would often read it to me at bedtime and I heartily recommend it to parents everywhere. It’s a sheer joy to read whatever age you are.


From the first page as a child I was captivated by the seemingly exotic descriptions: the clouds ‘like popcorn sprinkled in the sky.’


The Weeping Pussy Willow is a children's book from America and I’m unsure how we acquired it. At that time, popcorn was a rare and probably untasted treat.


The illustrations by Simon Frankel are an absolute delight. I distinctly remember as a child the superbly cross face of the grouchy Earthworm, which turns to warm laughter as he realises why the Pussy Willow is making his house damp.


The book I rescued from my mother’s loft was in a pretty poor condition with scribbles, torn pages, and the cover missing, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. I lately searched on eBay and found a copy in good condition.


As I reread the story and the childhood feelings washed over me, it was only then, after all these years, that I realised the story has a deeper meaning.


‘You should be yourself … Don’t try to imitate others,’ says the Earthworm.


‘Then I can be happy again?’, replies the Pussy Willow.


From then on, the sad story is supplanted with bursts of laughter, warmth, and joy.


It’s only now many years later that I understand what Tamara Frankel and perhaps even my mother was trying to convey …


Be yourself… be happy.



If you would like to buy this book, I don't think it's still available from bookshops but I fid find copies selling on eBay.


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