Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Wishtree

By Katherine Applegate

ISBN 9781250043221

Feiwel & Friends

Macmillan Publishers

Trees can’t tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this “wishtree” watches over the neighborhood.

You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.

This is a gentle, sweet and heart-warming book and I fell in love with Red and all the creatures and birds that inhabit Red’s branches and hollows. Red is old, more than two hundred rings old and very wise. Red has seen so many things happen over the years but none have tempted Red to break the forbidden rule more than what is happening now. I loved the language and the subtle messages. The book may be just over 200 pages long but the chapters are very brief, sometimes only a page long and there are some lovely illustrations but it really is a quick read with a powerful message.

There is an old Irish custom where people can leave wishes on a tree and for Red that has been happening in May for many, many years. Most wishes are superficial but others are heart-achingly honest like Samar’s, the young Muslim girl in this story. We are witness to racism, ignorance, wanting to belong, loneliness but most importantly, hope.

I wanted to hug Samar and tell her everything was going to be okay. I wanted to sit beneath Red’s big branches and watch the animals and birds coming and going. I wanted Red to be in my backyard.

This is one of those rare books that needs to be in every school and read to every child. Learning to accept each other and our differences is at the core of this book. A book that deserves reading over and over. I bought this book for my school library but will be buying my own copy as well. I may also have to buy multiple copies for our book club as there is so much to think about  and so much to love. It is a wee gem that warms the heart.

 

The trailer to this book is just beautiful.

 

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I love the work of Peter Reynolds. His art work is delightfully subtle. His style is very distinctive.
He has been illustrating the Judy Moody books by Megan McDonald for some time now but I especially enjoy his picture books.

Plant a kiss
This is the trailer for a book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter Reynolds. There is something wonderfully innocent in both the story and the illustrations. It is simply just lovely and I do hope they work together again as the combination is beautiful.
Plant a kiss and see what grows!

The one and only Ivan
By Katherine Applegate

Wow! This book just blew me away. Like others I have known who have read this, it will leave you in tears. Sad tears and happy tears. This is such a beautiful and well written story that you cannot help but be moved. Ivan is a Silverback gorilla, caged for almost as long as he can remember. When a baby elephant arrives at his animal mall, it soon needs protecting. Ivan has to step up and he does. Powerful and simply one of the best books. A must read if ever there was one. Review to follow in the review pages. Thanks to Zac for sending me this copy. I need another box of tissues now!