Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Kregel: The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale

Kregel Publicatons offered me the opportunity to review a newly released picture book for children. Since I happen to collect children's picture books, I thought this was a perfect partnership.

The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale, isn't a new story. Neither to me, or to literature in general. I have read other versions, and yet this one resonated with me the most. The story is beautiful, illustrating how the dreams and desires we have can be fulfilled in the most surprising and beautiful ways. It's a story of Hope and Redemption as it shares the message of Jesus's birth, life and Resurrection from the viewpoint of three trees.

Part of what makes this telling so well done is the simplicity. It's easily read by younger readers and for those not at that reading level yet, it's easy to comprehend as it's read to them. The artwork is beautiful, with muted, lovely colors in a traditional folk art style. At first, seeing the characters dressed in more modern clothing felt a little surprising since it's telling a Biblical era story, but the style suits the tale. It also gives the viewer an opportunity to connect a little more with the story, by allowing us to see ourselves in the pictures. Children should find this style of art easy to identify with, yet intricate enough for them to spend many hours looking at all the details hidden in the pages.

If you would to read an excerpt from the book, click HERE.


Three forest trees dream of what they will one day become. One dreams of becoming a royal throne; one of being a ship that can withstand any storm; and one longs to stay in the forest and grow as tall as tall can be. When they are felled, it seems their dreams are over. But as each tree is crafted into a new item--a manger, a fishing boat, and a rugged cross—it becomes clear that through the role they play in one important life their hopes are more than fulfilled.
This traditional folktale is accompanied by stylish artwork from a highly sought-after children's book illustrator, and will help set the Christmas and Easter stories into the overall context of the Christian faith.

The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale. Elena Pasquali, Sophie Windham


Elena Pasquali studied romance languages at university and has a special interest in researching folk tales. She worked for some years in children's publishing before going on to be an author in her own right.


Sophie Windham has illustrated books for Bloomsbury and Orchard and was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal for Unicorns! Unicorns! by Geraldine McCaughrean.

I received this book for free from Kregel Publications for this review

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