Kregel Blog Tour Book Review: The Three Trees, A Traditional Folktale by Elena Pasquali

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Perhaps you’ve heard the old story of the three trees.  I had read it before, but I had forgotten it.  Looking forward to sharing this book, The Three Trees, with Rosie at Christmas, I realized that the story has messages that relate to any age.  If you haven’t heard the story before, or like me had forgotten, it’s the tale of three different trees growing up together on a hillside.  They are dreaming, like children do, of what they are “going to be”.

The first tree dreams of riches.  As you read this book with your child, it’s a perfect time to talk about what riches are, what they mean.  If your children are old enough, talk about what is important and worthy of value.  What can “treasure” mean to different people?  The second tree dreams of power.  It wants to be made into a proud ship that a mighty king will travel on someday.  And the third, wants to stay on the hillside, pointing to heaven.

As dreams often go, the dreams of the trees do not come true.  Like our dreams, at least not in the way we imagine when we are young.  But as one songwriter said, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.”  In the song, a man runs into his high school sweetheart and introduces her to his wife.  He remembers that he used to pray to God that the sweetheart would be his true love.  Now, knowing that his wife is his soulmate, he thanks God for unanswered prayers.  My favorite prayer is, “Thy Will Be Done”.  It’s always answered.  It feels good to acknowledge that God knows better than I, what is good for me.

When I read this with Rosie, I want to tell her that there are always different ways to look at things.  Although the details of the path our lives take may not exactly match the details in our dreams, it doesn’t mean we are not “successful”.  As long as we know what is truly of value – God, first; Family, second – and act with those in priority, we will have success and treasure.

The book, The Three Trees, by Elena Pasquali has few words and many ideas!  There is so much to think about in this simple story.  It is perfect to read with children because there is opportunity for discussion.  Open-ended questions can yield information about your child and their life.

When you were a child, what did you dream of becoming?

Did your dreams come true?  In the way you had imagined them?

Have you ever thought that if you had gotten what you prayed for, your life would be worse?

As you can see in the picture of the cover, above, the book, The Three Trees by Elena Pasquali, is beautifully illustrated by Sophie Windham.   Each and every page is rich with detailed illustrations of trees and animals, in the different stages and seasons of their lives.  The predominant color is a muted, blue-gray and then there is also quite a bit of soft green.  The overall feel is cool and calm.  Sophie lives in Herefordshire, England with her husband, their two children and many animals.  Her love of animals shines from the book from chubby, woolly sheep to cows and very detailed roosters.  My favorite illustration is of the baby Jesus – shown in a warmly, colored bed of golden hay, surrounded by animals gazing in wonder at the sight of the infant.

The Three Trees is available at Kregel Publications.

This is a wonderful book to share with your family at Christmas, Easter, or any time!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  All opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated.  I was sent a copy of the book in the hopes that I would write about it on my blog.  This disclosure is in accordance with FTC guidelines.

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