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The Tree Thats Meant to Be

The Tree That's Meant To Be

Published: 3 Sep 2020

Paperback / softback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 3+ , 5+ and 7+

Illustrated by Yuval Zommer

Published by Oxford University Press

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A small fir tree is left all alone after the other trees near it in the forest are chosen by families at Christmas. But when the forest animals gather around the lonely little tree to cheer it up and celebrate the season, it finds festive love and warmth in the heart of a cold, snowy forest.

Tagged Christmas

Reviewed by Roy James

The Tree That’s Meant To Be is a story of growth rooted in Christmas tradition.

A fir tree struggles to grow as the other trees do ‘looking wonky’ and ‘feeling small’. It just isn’t quite pretty enough to be a Christmas Tree. However, the tree finds that not everyone’s paths in life are the same, and discovers that it’s meant to be.

Yuval Zommer is better known for his stunning nonfiction books on the animal kingdom The Big Book of… series. Nature is clearly of great importance to Zommer, and it shows in this title. At its core, this book is about the seasons, growth and patience. Growth is a gradual process, both physically and emotionally.

The story is best suited to children in the early years and infant classes, but there’s plenty of fruitful discussion for all ages. For example, the book’s title, which is a refrain provides moments for the reader to reflect and think about who we are and why we’re here.

Every word in this book seems carefully chosen. For instance, why do the forest animals dress the tree and not decorate it? It’s a lovely example of how a choice of one word can open up a discussion.

But sometimes we don’t need to discuss a text. We can just enjoy the warmth of a cosy story about hope and belonging, with some classic Christmas magic.

I work as a librarian across two primary schools, and I tutor English Literature and Language at a secondary school. I was recently awarded a PGCert from Oxford Brookes University in Children's Literature.