Tree: Book Review

One day Curly and Loppy notice that Tree’s leaves are starting to fall — at the wrong time of year — and Tree’s bark is flaking.


Title: Tree: A Gentle Story of Love and Loss
Series: Lessons of a LAC ; Book 5
Author: Lynn Jenkins
Illustrator: Kirrili Lonergan
ISBN: 9781925820126          Language: English

Publisher: EK Books

Classification: Fiction
Type: Picture Book
Themes: love, loss, relationships, resilience

What's it about?
Tree is the much-loved centerpiece of the community. But one day Curly and Loppy notice that Tree’s leaves are starting to fall — at the wrong time of year — and Tree’s bark is flaking.

It’s Tree’s time to leave. Fortunately Curly is able to teach Loppy how to accept that Tree is leaving, say goodbye, and commemorate Tree’s life.


Embrace
The message of celebrating life and remembering something you loved is well done.

Beware
The beginning is out of place.

My Thoughts
This is a 2020 release by EK Books and marks the fifth book in the Lessons of a LAC series.

When I first started reading this one I was actually really excited. As I've commented before, I'm not a huge fan of the artistic style as it closely resembles Seuss (of which I also don't like), but at the beginning, Loppy is stressing out over an upcoming test. At that point, my mind started racing at the possibilities of this book is perfect for kids who approach their first NAPLAN tests as these cause stress in some children even without any pressure from the teacher or parents. Of course, then I continued to read and the storyline takes a sharp right and we're onto the tree and I was left thinking: Huh?

"...show how the memory of something we love can live on."


The idea behind the tree dying and having to say goodbye is really well done. It is an analogy for losing someone or something in their life whether it be a tree, a pet, or a person. I think the way that Loppy wants to hold onto the tree is really relatable for children in particular. The ending where there is a seat and he takes a photo to show how the memory of something we love can live on. It reminds me of a book I reviewed some time ago called One Photo in which the father was remembered via photos.

Overall, it is an okay story, I just wish the beginning wasn't so out of place.

An activity that really comes to mind is to tie this book in with a science unit. Many kids have lost someone or something (even if it is family in another country or town) and so a tree planting event would be a great way that each student could plant a tree - tying in with a plant unit about what they need to survive, plus helping the environment. When my eldest brother was younger, his class was one of many who planted trees behind the local information centre - over 30 years later most of the trees are still there. It's a great way to show some community spirit as well.

Special thanks to EKBooks / Harper Entertainment for the ARC

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