Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes

Jef Aerts; Illustrated by Sanne te Loo

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • A touching story from multi prize-winning author Jef Aerts -- a tale of true friendship, resilience, belief and a little bit of magic
  • This lyrical story is illustrated with stunning artwork from acclaimed Dutch illustrator Sanne te Loo
  • When two best friends are separated -- one in the city and one in the countryside -- they find their way back to each other through a shared love of cherry blossom and paper planes

Adin and Dina are best friends who love to plant cherry stones around their little village in the countryside. Then one day Adin and his family move away to the city. Will their friendship survive the new distance between them?

256 x 276 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 4 to 8 years
48 pages
Publication date:
21 Mar 2019


Adin and Dina are best friends. They live in the beautiful countryside surrounded by cherry trees. Their favourite game is to plant cherry stones around their little village -- in the cracks in the pavement and in the flowerbeds outside the post office. Then one day Adin and his family move away to the city. Will Adin and Dina's friendship survive the new distance between them?

In this beautifully lyrical book, one story fractures into two when the friends are parted. But their lives continue to be linked as Adin finds a way to feel connected to his friend -- throwing paper planes filled with cherry stones from the balcony of his tower block.

Held together by their love of cherry blossom and paper planes, Adin and Dina's roads finally lead back to one another.

Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes is a touching story of true friendship, resilience, belief -- and a little bit of magic -- illuminated with stunning artwork full of seasonal detail, light and hope.


'Aerts' story resonates honestly and clearly with reassurance that friendship can weather changes and bridge distances. Memorable and visually rich.'
-- Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

'The illustrations provided by Sanne te Loo are absolutely beautiful -- especially the beautiful landscape of the fruit farm and the cherry blossom trees blooming in the spring. While reading this book, the first thought that came to me was that this would be perfect for a child who is moving, or even going to another school and might be missing some special friends. This shows that any friendship a child has does not need to end just because of a move...
A beautiful story with equally beautiful illustrations.'
-- Youth Services Book Review, STARRED REVIEW

'Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes is a gorgeously illustrated and lyrically written story about friendship that will appeal to a wide range of picture book readers. Perfect for when a child is losing a friend to moving, but also just a lush and lovely read to explore regardless.'
-- YA and Kids Books Central, STARRED REVIEW

'A lovely story of friendship near and far. The illustrations are breathtaking and enhance the story immensely. Subtle nods to differences in race and class -- and how they can mean little to children but have greater implications -- will make good discussion points for older readers, but anyone who has ever moved or had a friend move away will appreciate this story. Incredibly captivating.'
-- Tildy Banker-Johnson, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA for Indie Bound

'This Dutch import depicts two young friends who live in a rural village surrounded by cherry orchards. Their relationship is upended by Adin’s family’s move to the city. Separated and lonely, they each plant cherry seeds to lead the way to the other, and a touch of magical realism in the resulting cherry blossoms creates a beautiful path for their friendship. The artwork, hand-drawn with pen and gouache, uses soft pastels and lush spreads that follow the spare text.'
-- School Library Journal

'The rich illustrations that are hand-drawn using gouache and pen gently depict the green and yellow village and the city Adin and his mother move to. This is a sensitive story about the power of friendship.'
-- Omnilibros

'Words fail me in my attempt to provide a review that captures how moving and sweet this story is. Whether you were the friend that had to move away or the friend that stayed when someone else did, the loss is real and difficult. But, Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes shows how distance in miles does not mean distance in heart as we watch Dina and Adin work through their loneliness and grief when Adin's family moves away.'
-- A Garden of Books'

'[This book] has a lovely quiet to it. From the quiet friendship spent together in trees eating cherries to the quiet of loneliness for a close friend, all are captured on these pages. The emotions of a friend leaving are captured beautifully too as is the lasting connection between people and places. The writing is superb, celebrating cherries and trees and steadily building to that moment in spring when trees burst into bloom.
The art of this picture book celebrates the countryside and nature. The book captures the seasons with different colors and silhouettes of the trees. The rich green of summer turns to the browns of autumn to the whites of winter and then to a vibrant light green of spring that reaches to the city with its illumination on the page.
A lovely look at a cherry of a friendship.'
-- Waking Brain Cells

'A memorable and heartfelt story of the lasting bond of strong friendships... The text and illustrations really come together to create an aura of authenticity as well as magic and it is truly special.'
-- Book Nerd Mommy

'Quiet, polished gouache-and-pen spreads of cherry orchards and winding European streets soften the story of dear friends Dina and, who are forced to say goodbye to each other... Belgian writer Aerts sets his story about deep friendship, gracefully translated, against a backdrop of natural beauty.'
-- Publishers' Weekly


Jef Aerts is a Belgian author of children's books, novels and poetry. He has been praised as a master storyteller and his books have won numerous prestigious literary prizes. Jef worked with renowned illustrator Marit Törnqvist on the picture book Bigger Than a Dream and his books have been translated all over the world. Jef has three children and lives in a small farm with lots of animals.

Sanne te Loo is a Dutch illustrator who has been creating children's books for over ten years. She has illustrated texts for authors including Paul Biegel and Sjoerd Kuyper, and has received several awards for her work.

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