Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Tree by Neal Layton (Walker Books)

Neal Layton has contributed to some of our favourite books over the years (illustrator for the fabulous "Emily Brown" series by Cressida Cowell)...
He also illustrated one of our all-time favourite children's books ever - the sublime "Jennifer Jones Won't Leave Me Alone" by Frieda Wishinsky. We realised we'd missed out on a few of his own books though so we're playing catchup with the truly adorable "The Tree"

A proud fir tree stands tall atop a hill, home to many bird and animal species who live amongst its branches and below its roots.

When a man and his wife arrive, they think the hill would be the perfect spot for their new family home, and start work before their new baby arrives.

Their first task is to chop the tree down - but calamity! They don't realise that the tree is already a home so what can be done when a nest is dislodged from high up in the branches, and the squirrels and birds scatter to the four winds as their home is put in danger.

Thankfully the couple swiftly see the error of their ways and come up with a fabulous idea that will benefit everyone who lives in this gorgeous little spot and in the tree itself.

Delivering an important environmental message about caring for our habitat and respecting the homes and habitats of the animals we share the planet with, it's a lovely dreamy and sensitive piece of work.

Neal's trademark illustrative style works beautifully as usual, and the word count is kept purposely to a minimum to allow the message to form easily in young minds.

A really fabulous and important little book!

Charlotte's favourite bit: The awesome idea the couple come up with for a new home for all!

Daddy's favourite bit: A wonderful environmental message delivered expertly by one of this generation's most talented storyteller-illustrators.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Walker Books)

"The Tree" 

Written and Illustrated by Neal Layton

Published by Walker Books

Publication Date: 5th May 2016

1 comment:

Julie Ballard said...

Thanks for posting. We're admirers of his Emily Brown and Jennifer Jones illustrations. Will be keeping our eyes posted for this new book.