Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Big Tree Down!

Big Tree Down!

Laurie Lawlor
Illustrator:  David Gordon 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Holiday House, 2018   ISBN: 978-0823436613

At the corner of Maple Street and Elm Avenue there is a tree; a huge tree called Big Tree that provides “shelter, shade, hiding place,” It always there and it is perfect for “sharing secrets, leaning, and dreaming.” Everyone in the neighborhood knows and loves Big Tree.

Then one night there is a fierce storm and Big Tree’s massive trunk cracks and splinters. The tree comes crashing to the ground, bringing down power lines in the process. In a nearby house a boy and his family feel the ground shake as the tree hits the ground and then they lose power in their home. The boy and his family look outside, they see what has happened, and his father calls the emergency services.

Soon the police arrive, followed by personnel from the power company, who make the fallen power lines safe. Then the forestry department workers come to the scene with their heavy machinery, and they set about cleaning Big Tree away.

That night the neighbors gather outside, sharing food, lanterns, candles, songs, and camp fires. They share stories about Big Tree, remembering how their longest living neighbor gave them so much.

We tend to take trees for granted, not realizing that they can be important members of our neighborhood family. In fact, they often serve as the heart of the community, a meeting place where people gather to chat, to play, and to celebrate good times.

This book serves as a tribute to all those trees that make our lives richer and happier.