Tree: A Gentle Story of Love and Loss by Lynn Jenkins
Tree is a much-loved centrepiece of the community, where Calmsters and Little Anxious Creatures (LACs) come to relax, play and socialise. But one day, Curly and Loopy notice that Tree's leaves are starting to fall - at the wrong time of the year - and Tree's bark is starting to flake. The pair realise that it is Tree's time to leave.
Tree is the fifth book in the popular 'Lessons of a LAC' series, books that follow Curly and Loopy as they deal with big problems.
This newest release is perfectly aimed towards younger children, to help them learn how to say goodbye and process grief.
Author Lynn Jenkins is an experienced clinical psychologist and mother. She is passionate about early intervention and Tree is a great representation of this.
It is a simple story with simply techniques and ideas. In the story, Loopy reacts hysterically, but thankfully his friend Curly is there to teach him how to handle the pain of losing his friend Tree. Together they navigate acceptance, saying goodbye, and how to celebrate and commemorate Tree's life.
The story is accompanied by Kirrili Lonergan's illustrations once again, with her Dr Seuss-esque drawings highlighted by a basic colour palette. Her simple drawings perfectly capture the emotion within both the characters and the storyline.
Children experience loss in many ways - whether it's the death of a family member or pet, changing friendships or relationships, or even moving home. Their experiences and feelings are valid and important, and Tree helps not only younger children deal with that, but puts positive, practical ideas into the hands of caregivers.
Tree is a simple story about love and loss that will make an invaluable resource for any adult involved in a child's life.
Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell
EK Books, RRP $19.99