Review Blog

Dec 12 2012

Tree - A little story about big things by Danny Parker

cover image

Ill. by Matt Ottley. Little Hare, 2012. Hbk. ISBN 9781921714412.
Highly recommended. 'A sapling grows in the shelter of an older tree, where he is happy and safe. One day a violent storm destroys everything the sapling knows, and he suddenly finds himself unprotected and alone. But as the sapling grows, he gradually discovers that every end is a new beginning.'
If ever there were a picture book that proves that picture books are not just for the very young and those learning to read, then this is it. If we take the text alone, then it could be just a story about a tree but, in company with the most amazing, sensitive illustrations by Matt Ottley, this story becomes an allegory for so much more about life. It's about growing up and being nurtured, about being protected and sheltered to the point of not being able to shine alone, and about being resilient and standing strong in the face of what seems like disaster.; It's about finding the inner courage we don't know we have until it is called upon, and about things coming full circle.
The story (from a new author whose nursing history is apparent in the sensitivity of the storyline, illustrations (marvel at the fact that the artist is colour blind) and design (be sure to take the dust jacket off and open it out) of this book are a wonderful example of a symbiotic relationship that has worked to perfection.
IMO, this is a definite contender for the CBCA Book of the Year Award, and I can't give it higher praise than that.
Barbara Braxton

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