Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Searcher and Old Tree

The Searcher and Old Tree

David McPhail
Picture Book
For ages 3 to 5
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2007   ISBN: 978-1580892230


The Searcher, a raccoon, has been scavenging for food all night and now, as dawn approaches, he is tired, full, and ready to head home. Home for the Searcher is Old Tree, a large and venerable tree which stands on a cliff edge and which offers the Searcher a comfortable place to spend the day.

Soon the Searcher is asleep and while he slumbers a terrible storm blows up. The waves and wind rages. Old Tree is "bent nearly to the ground" and waves "rise and curl" around its trunk. All day long the wind and waves pull and tug at Old Tree but Old Tree holds fast. Throughout the whole fierce storm Searcher sleeps on.

Then, as the moon rises, the storm abates at last. Searcher's hungry stomach wakes him up. At first he does not notice any change in his Old Tree home but then he looks back and sees that something has indeed changed.

In this lovely, magical, picture book David McPhail explores the special tie that creatures often have with the homes. Sometimes these homes become friends over time, friends who protect their dependents no matter happens. Children will love this warming and clever picture book, which is full of gorgeous illustrations and which offers readers powerful ideas and feelings using very few words.