The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Using time-honored narrative conventions, Pasquali (Go Hare and Tortoise Go!) subtly renders the Christian Nativity and Easter stories to powerful effect. Three trees on a hill each dream of greatness: to be made into a treasure chest, a proud ship, and to point to heaven. Their initial hopes dashed by the humble uses made of their wood (a trough, a fishing-boat, and a cross), they come to realize their essential roles in the life of a great though unnamed king. Wide-eyed, curious animals (cats, chickens, sheep) and statuesque, pale angels bear witness to the unfolding drama in Windham’s (Unicorns! Unicorns!) earth-toned illustrations, while raindrops, falling leaves, drooping straw, swirling waves, and lightning convey energy and movement to counteract the stillness of the wooden main characters. Familiar biblical images such as the manger scene, Jesus calming the storm, and the crucifixion take on new resonance when narrated from the trees’ perspectives: “And the second tree knew that it was carrying the mightiest king the world had ever known.” A somber and evocative rendition of the gospel story. Ages 5–7. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

"[Elena Pasquali] subtly renders the Christian Nativity and Easter stories to powerful effect."  —Publishers Weekly

"This retelling is gorgeously illustrated."  —School Library Journal

School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Three saplings share their future dreams. One desires riches; the second, power; and the third simply wants to grow and point toward heaven. When all of them are cut down, the first two trees bemoan their humble fates as a trough and fishing boat. However, the one that became the trough finds itself holding a newborn baby and, "Knew that it was holding the greatest treasure the world had ever known." The tree that became a fishing boat is witness to a man calming the sea and knew it carried the mightiest king. The third tree becomes the cross upon which a man dies. It despairs until the man is resurrected, and it realizes that it will forever be a symbol of the man's life. It is obvious to adults that this is a Christian story, but the message is never explicitly stated. There is no author's note explaining its origin or cultural provenance. Although this retelling is gorgeously illustrated, libraries would do better to acquire Angela Elwell Hunt's version, The Tale of Three Trees (Chariot Victor, 1999), which has a clear, accessible message for young children.—Anna Haase Krueger, Antigo Public Library, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745962894
  • Publisher: Lion UK
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 693,380
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 11, 2011

    A Book For All Seasons

    This is a remarkable book that we can use to celebrate all Christian seasons. The folktale is wonderful and I could study the illustrations all day. My kids really enjoyed reading this book. It came in the mail when our supervising teacher was here and B took it right away and read it to her. They both enjoyed the experience. B, C, Dad and I enjoyed it again later as our bedtime story. I plan on reading this story to my children for Christmas and Easter every single year. And I will be saving this book for my grandchildren. Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Three Trees by Elena Pasquali and illustrated by Sophie Windham for free from the Kregel Publications¿ Blog Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission¿s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted November 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book!!!!!!

    This story has a special place in my heart, because when my daughter was in her 4 year old pre-school class her Christmas program was based on this story. So as we read the story I had fond memories of when she was younger with her classmates. But beyond that I really do like this story. It tells you that while you might have plans and dreams of your own, things might just not happen the way you want them. But in the end things happen the way that God has planned them. The pictures are great, and will keep a younger child interested in the story. All in all I really did like this story, and for the next few years I do see us reading it during the Christmas time and Easter time, as reminders. When my daughter does out grow this book I am sure that we will pass it along to a family member with younger kids so that they can get the same enjoyment out of the book as we do.

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  • Posted November 9, 2011

    Beautifully illustrated retelling of the story.

    I¿ll not forget the first time I heard the story of the three trees and how they had a dream ¿ a dream to be something great, like everyone. I was at a co-op where the story was being told by a mom gifted with storytelling, and I remember how moved I was by this and thinking why I haven¿t I heard this story before? Using personification the trees are given personality and each has a dream, one wants to be a chest to carry treasure, the other wants to be made into a ship to carry a king and the last tree wants to stay on it¿s hill pointing to Heaven. In this retelling of the traditional folktale, The Three Trees, retold by Elena Pasquali and illustrated by Sophie Windham you and your children will be pulled in to the story with the vibrant and colorful illustrations about the story of the three trees. With each tree¿s dream coming true in different ways, the pictures will help even the youngest listener to understand the overall meaning of the story. When I read this with my children I found myself getting choked up, how would it feel to be one who held the newborn Christ child? How would I have felt to be the ship carrying Christ and His disciples? And ultimately how would it have felt to be the one who held Christ as He bled and died for the sins of all? Told in an engaging way with beautiful illustrations the book will be a treasured part of our home library for many years to come. **I was given a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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