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Posted & filed under Children's Book Reviews

In Governor General’s Literary Award nominee Kyo Maclear’s latest picture book, The Wish Tree, dreams come true for a kind-hearted little boy. Charles is on a mission to find a “wish tree.”  His naysaying siblings do not dampen his spirits, and the child and his trusty sled, Boggan, optimistically journey into the snowy woods.  Along the way, they lend a helping hand to several animals struggling with their winter preparations:  Charles loads up Boggan and delivers Squirrel’s hazelnut stockpile to his treetop nest, birch wood to Beaver’s lodge, and red berries to Fox’s burrow.  By the end of the day, Charles is dismayed that he is no closer to finding his special tree.  The boy’s newfound animal friends repay his thoughtfulness by delivering him to the elusive, snow-covered white pine.  After Charles hangs his handwritten wish on a shimmering branch, he enjoys a festive feast of hazelnut soufflé, birch tea and berry biscuits with his woodland pals.

Chris Turnham’s digital illustrations have the retro appeal of a classic holiday animated film.  Charles is a winsome character, and has a smiling, round face, and rosy red cheeks.  Background details capture a winter wonderland, full of glistening ponds of ice, fluffy snowdrifts, and pastel soft sunsets.  With its rhythmic, poetic language, and gentle, hope-filled storyline, The Wish Tree is perfect for seasonal sharing.

  • The Wish Tree

    By Kyo Maclear, Illustrated by Chris Turnham , Published by Chronicle Books
    • ISBN 13: 978-1-4521-5065-9
Linda Ludke
Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library.  Her reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, School Library Journal and CM:  Canadian Review of Materials.  When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.