Faulkner has always been interested in the perspective of children. The Sound and the Fury and several of his short stories ("That Evening Sun", "Uncle Willy", and "That Will be Fine" come to mind) have delved into the psyche of children as they observe the adult world. However, this curious book, written in 1927 for his future step-daughter, is written expressly for a child. As would be expected, Faulkner's foray into children's literature is a marked departure from tradional books for children. In this book, a sort of cross between Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz, the reader meets not only the child protagonist and her childhood friends, but an ageing Confederate veteran, a Black nanny and her disreputable husband. Not only do the children pursue the elusive wishing tree, but get to witness marital strife and the delusional ranting from an old man. I doubt seriously if this book, replete with sexual and racial stereotypes, would ever find its way into a present day children's reading room.
To be fair to Faulkner, this was written with no idea for publication, as a present to an eight year old girl on her birthday. Regardless of its literary merit, it has come to the light of day as well as to the mention of critics, and through them, has taken on a more serious aspect, something the author could never have forecast while writing it.