This is the time of year when children all over the world hold their wishes close, hoping that Santa, Father Christmas, or St. Nicholas will be able to read the wishes in their hearts and make them a reality. In today's picture book you will meet a little boy who wants more than anything to find a wish tree, which he is convinced is a real thing. Rather than waiting for someone to find such a tree for him, the little boy sets out to find the wish tree himself, and in the process he makes a lot of wishes come true for others.
The Wish Tree
The Wish Tree
Illustrated by Chris Turnham
For ages 5 to 7
Chronicle, 2016, 978-1-4521-5065-9
One day Charles decides that he wants to find a wish tree. His older sister and brother say that “There is no such thing” as a wish tree, but Charles, and his friend Boggan, are convinced otherwise and so the next morning the boy and his toboggan set off.
Together the friends climb a hill and sledded down to a “frost meadow” on the other side. Though they do not find a wish tree they do find a squirrel who needs help getting his haul of hazelnuts back to his home in a tree. Boggan and Charles are happy to help out.
Later the friends help a beaver get a load of birch wood back to his lodge, and help a fox get some berries back to her burrow. Again and again Charles and Boggan assist the woodland animals who need help getting food and other materials back to their homes.
The day begins to wind down and poor Charles and Boggan are no closer to finding a wish tree. They have seen so much during the day, except the one thing that they are looking for. Charles is so tired that he decides that he cannot search any longer. In fact he falls asleep on Boggan, which is when something magical happens.
This wonderful wintery picture book will appeal to readers of all ages and backgrounds. Though it is certainly about a little boy’s quest, it is also about friendships that bloom during that quest. With delight we see how gifts are returned to someone who gives of himself so easily and freely.