Review Blog

Nov 16 2020

The Tree by Graeme Base

cover image

Puffin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760897048.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Enticing illustrations will draw readers into this latest offering by award winning Base (Animalia) and they will linger over its message of sharing and working together. A curly-haired cow with long horns and eyelashes and a cute little duck linger under a beautiful big tree. Cow looks up and sees mooberries while Duck looks amongst the roots and see mushquacks. Both are happy with the tree, Cow building herself a castle in its branches and pulling up the drawbridge, while Duck has an underground hideout with a secret entrance. However, when a storm bends the tree Cow and Duck notice each other and believe that their mooberries and mushquacks are under threat. Then another storm blows the tree over and Cow and Duck must cooperate to help a new tree grow.
Base's illustrations are delightful. Both Cow and Duck come alive with their individual characteristics. The tree is a character in itself and the details of the castle in its branches and the hideaway in its roots are amazing. The double page spread that shows the tree against a beautiful dark blue night sky, with Cow perched in his castle looking at the sunset, and Duck lounging in his deckchair underground is beautifully drawn and memorable. Other animals who live in the tree peep out through the leaves and scamper around and readers will enjoy finding and naming them.
The narrative reads aloud well and finally shows the futility of pulling up the drawbridge in Cow's case or hiding the entrance by Duck. When they have to grow another tree, readers will be happy to see that creatures can live along side each other, sharing and helping each out.
Pat Pledger

BUY IT ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries