Review Blog

Apr 22 2020

Tree: A gentle story of love and loss by Lynn Jenkins

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Illus. by Kirrili Lonergan. EK Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781925820126. 32pp., pbk.
Loppy the LAC loves the feeling of sanctuary and serenity that the old tree in the park gives him whenever he is feeling anxious. But when it starts to lose its leaves long before it is supposed to, his friend Curly points out that Tree's days are numbered. This makes Loppy very unsettled - how will he calm himself if it dies and disappears? But death is an inevitable conclusion to living and Loppy has to learn and accept that 'his' tree will soon be gone.
This is the fifth book in the Lessons of a LAC series, this one created to help children accept loss and process grief. Given the summer holidays that many of our students have experienced where all that was familiar is now blackened and gone, this is an important book to add to your mindfulness collection and share with the children. While building a seat with a special photo might not be the option for them, nevertheless there are ways we can commemorate things that are important to us so that peace and connection return. Because it might be in a different way for each person, it's also an opportunity to acknowledge that we each value different things and how and when we remember this is unique to the individual. There is no right way or wrong way - just different.
The author is a clinical psychologist whose specialty is early intervention in the social and emotional development of children and the previous books in this series have demonstrated that her words are wise and her stories resonate with their audience.
Barbara Braxton

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