When I heard that Yuval Zommer had created a Christmas delight I knew I had to read it! Already a big fan of Zommer’s beautiful illustrations and ‘Big Book of’ series and an extreme lover of the festive season I guessed that the The Tree That’s Meant To Be was meant for me!
The cover cries out to be picked up and opened – a festive red (and a bit of glitter!) showcasing a beautiful fir tree and woodland animals in Zommer’s distinguishable style. The embossed areas also mean that the cover also has that wonderful strokable factor!
The story follows a little fir tree through the seasons to one snowy wintertime. A fir tree deemed ‘too small’ and ‘too imperfect’ to be chosen by the revellers that enter the woodland to choose trees to decorate their homes for Christmas. Zommer’s word choice, style of prose and emotive imagery expertly lead the reader to sympathise with the lonely tree left behind – alone and shivering.
But the vast array of woodland animals hear the tree’s lonely cry and come together in a wonderful display of community spirit to adorn the tree with gems of nature (think acorns, feathers, seeds, cones) and fill the air with laughter, friendship and Christmas cheer. A shooting star from the sky rests atop of the ‘tree of light’ completing its transformation and giving it a sense of self worth and belonging. ‘I felt tall!’ the tree cries out feeling warm and loved despite the freezing snow all around.
This is truly heartwarming picture book perfect to be read over the festive season. Or before. Or After!