Picture Book Reviews

The Last Tree

by Emily Haworth-Booth

Pavilion Books

This is a wonderful story of friendship and the need for us all to take care of our environment.

The last tree is beautifully illustrated and the text flows like a babbling brook carrying you along it’s course, down waterfalls and out to the big wide sea of life.

A group of friends live happily in the forest until they decide to begin cutting down the trees to build homes and, ultimately, a huge wall. Then, living in the shadow of the wall, their friendship begins to fall apart. Change only happens when their children discover the last living tree and the joy of playing beside it. They decide to take matters into their own hands and ultimately help the adults realise that by protecting their environment they’ll look after their community too.

This book would be wonderful for generating discussion on the themes of taking care of our environment, working together, community and friendship. It also highlights the power children can have and use when they are given the opportunity to do so.

A fantastic resource for exploring this theme at home and for supporting work in the upper stages of primary school.