Book review: The Last Tree

last tree

The Last Tree

Written by Ingrid Chabbert, illustrated by Guridi

36 pages

Published by Kids Can Press

“It’s so beautiful!” I whispered.

“It’s the first one I’ve seen. “

“Do you think it’s the last tree?”

Summary: (from Goodreads) A small boy longed to roll and play in the grass like his father had when he was a child. But the boy lived in a concrete city without any grass or trees. Instead, they had roads, walls and lots of other ugly things. Then one day the boy and his friend discovered a sapling hiding behind a low wall. When they hear that a condominium is being built right on the spot where their tree is growing, the friends know they have to dig it up and replant it in a safe place.

Beautifully illustrated by Guridi, this book by Ingrid Chabbert presents an environmental message to children.

When I got home.

I lost myself in books.

To see some green, some leaves…

some happiness.

A little boy grows up listening to his father talking about the green world of his own childhood, filled with outdoor adventures, feeling the blades of grass between his toes and flying kites with his best friend. That world is a dream for the children in this story, preserved only in books and memories.
The boy has to travel far to see grass, but there is less there every time he goes. His best friend finds a tree, the last tree and they save it from being destroyed, transplanting it somewhere it can grow tall and majestic.
I enjoy books with an environmental message as children will be the custodians of the future natural world that has already been so damaged by us human beings. This book reminds me of others with similar premises e.g. The Lorax, The Promise and The Trouble With Dragons
The ending felt a little abrupt on the first reading, but I do think it has achieved the goal of making those who read it think about and appreciate the environment around them. I will be reading it to my class to spark discussion!

What I liked: Environmental message, style of illustrations.

Even better if: Perhaps a fact page at the back (like The Journey Home), giving further information to support and deepen the discussion this book could start.

How you could use it in your classroom: Suitable from KS1, this would be useful alongside any topics looking at the natural world and our place in it.

 

I looked at it.


I looked at the stars


and asked them to watch over it.


It was the last tree.

 

(Thank you to Netgalley and Kids Can press for my free review copy)

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