Friday, November 11, 2011

The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale by Elena Pasquali, Illustrated by Sophie Windham

I have always loved the three trees story since I first heard it. And, with this new retelling and reillustrating the story I fell in love with this children's story all over again.

This story tells a story about three little trees. Each of them has a dream of what they want to be, and each of them has an idea about just how that might happen. Each of the trees gets chopped down, and does not seem to have their dreams come true. But then, through the life and work of Jesus, each of them discovers God's purpose and their dreams coming together in a way that is better than they had ever hoped or expected.

I always read this story to children in our church during Advent, because its themes of waiting and hope so clearly correspond to the message of the Advent season. It is also appropriate for the Easter or the Lenten season.

Until now, the only telling of this story is the one distributed by Cook Communications, told by Angela Hunt, and illustrated by Tim Jonke. Now, Lion Children's book has commissioned Elena Pasquali and illustrator Sophie Windom to retell the story in a slightly different and new way.

That this story should be retold by Pasquali should come as no surprise. Pasquali has a skilled, strong history of retelling traditional folktales for modern audiences, as well as retelling Bible stories in ways that children can understand.

Elena Pasquali does an excellent job with the text. It is evenly paced and readable.

What makes this book fascinating to me is the different kind of illustration that accompanies the text.

One thing that is unique to this version of the story is that each of the trees is a unique KIND of tree. Each of them have different bark and different leaves. This adds to the readers understanding of the "uniqueness" of each of the trees on the hill. Each of them were different kinds of trees, and thus were best suited for the different kinds of purposes they came to fulfill.

The artistic style of illustrator intrigued me. It reminded me a lot of Edward Hicks' depictions of biblical scenes in his artwork in pieces like "The Peaceable Kingdom" and "Noah's Ark". Windom uses color more pleasingly than Hicks, but the way she integrates animals into intriguing pastoral scenes is reminiscent of Hicks' work.

All in all, I would recommend grabbing a copy of this book. I hope it will be a treasured part of your families life they way it is in the life of our church congregation.

(This book was provided for me for free in exchange for an honest review by Kregel Publications)

1 comment:

lailani said...

:) I had forgotten this book, but my children had a copy when they were little that we would read. It was a good book... thanks for the sweet memory that brought back.