Review Blog

Nov 21 2014

The memory tree by Britta Teckentrup

cover image

Hachette, 2014. ISBN 9781408326343
(Ages 2-8) Highly recommended. Every now and then a book comes along that is beautifully presented and brings with it a message that every child should have the chance to read and discuss. On the first page, 'He looked at his beloved forest one last time and lay down. Fox closed his eyes, took a deep breath and fell asleep... forever.' The memory tree centres on the death of a loved one (the Fox) in a quiet, polite and sensitive story that instantly evokes emotions.
The memory tree has a placid and calm way of presenting both the illustrations and the story. The local inhabitants of the forest, Owl, Mouse, Rabbit, Squirrel and Bear, all reflect on their experiences and memories of Fox who had touched them each individually in a beautiful and memorable way. These reflections evoke emotions and personal memories easily in the reader.
The issue with The memory tree is when does an adult read it to a child? The story is very emotional and can perhaps be too powerful for a bedtime story. It may be a great way to discuss the loss of life or the topic of immortality.
My son loved this book and immediately asked for it to be read again. I would thoroughly recommend it to be a part of any good library. I would also recommend The memory tree to anyone who needs to discuss the passing of a loved one with a child.
If only the story of dying could always be this sweet.
Steve Whitehead

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Prime Minister's Literary Awards shortlist 2020
Teens' Top Ten 2020
Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist 2021
Children's Book Award UK 2020
Little Rebels Award 2020
CBCA Book Awards 2020

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Feel good and uplifting books for staff
Online Children's Storytime Websites List
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Children's Laureate's charter