The Wish Tree

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The Wish Tree
Kyo Maclear and Chris Turnham
Chronicle Books
When I taught reception age children we’d sometimes have a wish tree as part of the classroom environment, perhaps for the International Day of Peace or as part of an RE theme. Of course it wasn’t a whole tree, just a branch that had broken off and been collected for the occasion. Now here’s a storybook character wanting to find a wish tree in the great outdoors. His brother and sister dismiss the idea but with his trusty ‘Boggan’ for company, Charles sets out into the snowy world on his quest to find one.

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Up hill and down they search, venturing into the woods where they stop to help various animals and make some new friends;

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but try as they might, they cannot find a wish tree. Evening is nigh and the searchers are weary; they can go no further. But then something truly wonderful and magical happens as Charles and Boggan’s kindnesses are rewarded.

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His newfound friends help him on his way and when he wakes up, he sees before him a snow-laden pine tree. Charles writes a wish, ties it to the tree and then he, Boggan and the animals partake of a seasonal feast together.

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As the moon glows in a star-filled sky, Charles and Boggan finally make their way home to bed and perhaps to dream.
The snowy scenes have a subtle pinkish glow that radiates the wonderful warmth of the story despite the chilly outdoor setting. Openheartedness and friendship win through in this subtle tale of determination and tenacity.
With its in-built repetition that offers listeners opportunities to join in with those ‘La-di-da-di-da-daaaa’s of Charles and Boggan’s ‘Whishhhhh’ songs, this is a lovely book to share as temperatures drop and the nights draw in. I love the magical elements and the way gaps are left for readers and listeners to fill for themselves.

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