THE TREE THAT’S MEANT TO BE is a heartwarming festive story full of love and caring. It portrays a wonderful celebration of Christmas in the natural world but more importantly it shows the joy and happiness that friendship brings to a character that feels different to all the others.
The Story: Throughout the seasons one little fir tree doesn’t grow as tall and as straight as the others in the forest. When it snows, families cut down the other trees and take them home and the little tree is left sad and lonely in a clearing. But when animals hear the its cries they find a way to make it feel loved by bringing Christmas warmth to the forest.
The little tree introduces itself as ‘the tree that’s meant to be’ then proceeds to tell us why. The story pulled at our heartstrings as the tree was ignored by children and their families but the love and support that it receives from a fox, a deer and a bird is heartwarming. As more and more animals join them in the clearing laughter fills the air and they celebrate Christmas together. But the love for the little tree doesn’t stop once Christmas is over, now it has friends, animal and human, who spend time with it as it grows taller and the seasons continue to change.
Yuval Zommer’s illustrations use natural earthy colours that fill each double spread. We love the spreads showing the changing seasons and the little tree standing tall in all weathers but our favourite illustration shows the forest animals sleeping around the ‘tree of light’.
Although the story has a festive element the overall message that is conveys is that warmth and happiness can be found through love and friendship. The Tree That’s Meant To Be isn’t perfect but it is nevertheless deserving of these basic elements.
We love the final page in the story which shows the little tree standing tall and proud as two children lie underneath it and read, birds sit in their nest and a squirrel climbs.
The book is printed using natural, recyclable paper made from wood grown in sustainable forests. Don’t forget to look underneath the book’s jacket where we discovered a simple but stunning illustration of the little tree – crooked and straggly on a bright red festive background. On the back cover we were delighted to find another wonderful illustration showing a forest scene – we love finding beautiful surprises under book jackets.
We’re huge fans of Yuval’s artwork and were delighted when he very generously did a festive illustration for our Story Snug Advent Calendar in 2017. The animals in this illustration appear in The Tree That’s Meant To Be, we particularly love the bear and the owl.
Age Range: 3 +
Author / Illustrator: Yuval Zommer
Thank you to Oxford University Press for sending a review copy of this beautiful book. It’s a wonderful story to find wrapped up under a Christmas tree 🎄
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