Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Tree: A Little Story About Big Things

Tree: A Little Story About Big Things

Danny Parker
Illustrator:  Matt Ottley 
Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
Little Hare Books, 2015   ISBN: 978-1742978604

A little seed lands in the shelter of a big tree’s curved roots, and there it germinates and sprouts. Though it is “delicate and frail” the little tree begins to grow. Sheltered by its large and strong neighbor from the baking sun, heavy rains and snow, the little tree flourishes. And then, one night, a terrible storm blows through, and though it has withstood many a storm before, this time the older tree, the little tree’s protector, is not able to withstand the ferocity of the wind, rain and lightning.

When the “uproar and confusion” passes, and the quiet returns, something is different in the little tree’s world. Its protector is gone. Big machines rumble and roar around the little tree and it is left to struggle in a wasteland without any other tree around or near it.

Loss and change can be devastating, whether you are a tree or an animal or a person. With minimal text and incredibly beautiful illustrations the author and illustrator of this remarkable picture book helps readers to see the cycle of life, death and renewal in a powerful and life-affirming way. We see how the older generation protects the younger until the younger has to stand on its own and face what life sends its way.