11 August 2009

The Giggle Gum Tree

by Juliet Williams. Illustrated by Elizabeth Botté

IP Kidz (Interactive Publications). Australian, Picture, Junior, Young Reader. Hardcover rrp $24.95.

I just had to read The Giggle Gum Tree. The illustrations from the front cover right through to the back, took my imagination back to when I was a young child hiding under our local willow tree. And the story was just so wonderful I had to read it aloud to my three children – from kindergarten to teenager!

Sisters Lily and Amanda walk through a park to get to school each day. They are always happy because to and from school the path takes them under a very special tree.

It had long swishy branches and its feathery leaves hung over the path.
When the girls walked under the tree, its swirly branches would tickle their necks and ears and faces.
And it turned them into giggling gerties.

But where the girls could see a sense of playfulness and fun, older community members had other ideas about the tree. Mr Glumper tripped over the roots and Mrs Pritchet would lose her glasses and her balance.

When the decision was made to chop the tree down, the girls grew sad, sulky and naughty. Then they had an idea. Maybe they can save the tree.

The story teaches children about compromise, that solving a problem involves taking into account the needs and opinions of many people, not just themselves. A good book to keep for an uplifting read or just to look at the great illustrations.


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