When Jack receives a new book all he wants is a quiet place to read it. But the garden is full of noise; blackbirds are tweeting, woodpeckers are pecking and squirrels are eating. There is one tree though that is just right, it’s quiet and still and is the perfect reading nook. Until…what’s all that noise? A whole host of animals want to enjoy the tree too but Jack is adamant that the tree is just for him. But is having something all to yourself better than sharing it with others…
This delightful tale about a young boy who gets very protective about ‘his’ tree is pretty much perfect. I love a rhyming picture book and Lucy Rowland’s rhymes are an absolute delight, each one just sings off the page, nothing forced, they are effortless and make the reading out loud experience so enjoyable. Bringing the rhymes to life are Laura Hughes’ utterly gorgeous illustrations that are bursting with colour and fabulous animals.
We can all relate to children wanting something all to themselves and all Jack wants to do is sit in ‘his’ tree and enjoy his book. But things get a little bit out of hand when Jack’s peace and quiet is disturbed with a whole host of animal visitors making it absolutely impossible to read and Jack gets more and more irate. Whilst Jack enjoys fleeting moments of friendship and playtime with the animals he ultimately decides that he wants to be alone with his book and abruptly ends playtime with, ‘This tree is just for me’.
How Jack learns that sharing his space and enjoying the company of others is better than being alone is perfectly captured in both the artwork and the text and I loved the ending that sees Jack reading his book to a wonderfully engaged animal audience - this just makes my heart sing on so many levels; the friendship, the sharing, the reading aloud, the love of a book.
With its gentle themes of sharing, friendship and the joys that can be found when you allow others to join in, this really is a lovely picture book that is ideal for sharing with little ones and teaches some valuable life lessons.
With huge thanks to Bloomsbury for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 3+.