Hardcover, 40 pages
Expected publication: September 27th 2016 by Chronicle Books
Source: Raincoast Books
The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear with art by Chris Turnham is about a boy Charles and his friend Boggan the Toboggan who decide that they want to find a wish tree even though Charles’s siblings tell him there is no such thing. Charles and Boggan set forth on a quest to find this mythical and magical tree. On their journey they find a fox, a beaver, a squirrel and a host of other animals whom they help. The help usually comes in the form of Boggan doing some heavy lifting and helping the animals transport things from a to b.
In the end, Charles and Boggan have a delightful dinner with the all the animals they helped. Luckily they also find a tree which just may be a wish tree so they tie a wish of their own around of its branches and return home happily.
This picturebook is beautifully constructed and the art has a dreamy quality to it that is appropriate of wintertime. The writing is rather brisk and uses a lot of repetitions; reading it out loud will be fun for parents. I will admit that I didn’t enjoy it as much as others I have read but I do feel that this is more because I am an adult and not because there is anything wrong with the book. I got caught up with questions like “why is that child’s parents not with him when he is skating on that ice?” and “why are his parents not freaking out when he returns so late at night?” Ha. One of the cons of being an adult, I suppose.
The Wish Tree will make wonderful reading right before bed and you know, will help usher in the magical winter and Christmas (if you celebrate or even if you don’t). It doesn’t really work as a crossover picturebook though but that just might be me.