The Last Tree

Written by Ingrid Chabbert, Raúl Nieto Guridi

A little boy grows up in a city without grass or trees and only his father’s stories of when he was young and could roll around in the grass and play. The boy’s world only “had roads, walls, and lots of other ugly things.” He can only imagine green things from the books he reads. This one day his best friend tells him he has a secret to show him and they bicycle farther out into the city. To his amazement, growing behind a low, crumbling wall, is a tiny tree! It might even be the last tree. They visualize how majestic it will be someday. But when he later read in the newspaper that Luxury Condos are being built on the very spot where the little sapling is growing, they boys know they must dig it up and replant it in a safe place. This is a poignant book about the importance of nature and the environment. The drab, colorless illustrations are strikingly and hauntingly beautiful in their portrayal of a future of “roads, walls, and other ugly things.” The minimal amounts of color are in sharp contrast and used to convey what is important—that of nature and a hope for the future. I think this would be a good book to read as an introduction to environment, perhaps on Earth Day, and could be a good conversation starter for classes. For younger children, someone older reading this story could help them as time jumps in the story could be a little confusing.

Review by Renee Larsen, Hillside Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades K-6

The Last Tree
Written by Ingrid Chabbert, Raúl Nieto Guridi
Kids Can Press
36 pages
Release Date: April 4, 2017
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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