I received a copy of THE THREE TREES: A TRADITIONAL FOLKTALE by Elena Pasquali from Kregel Publications. Sophie Windham did the illustrations; they are colorful and intense, yet not too complex.
As someone with a degree in elementary education, I was excited to read the blurb on the back: A tale of hope and faith for Christmas, Easter, and always. There are not many picture books for children about Easter, so this will make a lovely addition to my library. As I read, I imagined different lesson plans to apply to the book. For example, the events could be researched in the Bible, and students could plant their own trees.
The story involves three trees. Two of the trees want more out of life, but the third is happy living on its hill. The first two trees are sad when they are not made into their dream jobs, but then realize they have greater purposes then they could have ever imagined. The first tree becomes the manger for baby Jesus, which ties in the Christmas aspect of the book. The second tree becomes a fishing boat that Jesus rides upon, and stills a storm. The third tree is also cut down. It becomes the cross Jesus is tied to, and after Jesus is seen alive again, the tree realizes it will “stand for ever, pointing to heaven. “ That ties in the Easter aspect.
After reading the book, I also read it to my young cousins. They enjoyed it, but as they aren’t too familiar with the Bible yet, they had difficulty linking it to Christmas, Easter, and Jesus. The book might be for older children, who already have a strong foothold in religion. My cousins were also confused about a few of the pictures. One cousin thought the people looked Amish, and another asked if they were pioneers. Overall, they liked the book enough to want to hear it over again, and one said she would ask for it for Christmas. This books is ideal for children and adults, so it makes a perfect story to read aloud.