It’s spring in the New Forest, bluebells bloom and birds return from Africa. A new tree begins to grow which no-one except the oldest oak has seen before. Summer arrives, and the oak and the little tree become friends and the oak tells stories. Autumn comes and the younger tree notices that the oak’s leaves are turning brown as he prepares for his winter sleep. The little tree, being an evergreen, will not sleep. The oak is tired and tells his new friend that he loves him. All through the winter, the little tree feels lonely and cold, but spring returns and new leaves appear everywhere, except on the branches of the old oak. The worried young evergreen asks the returning birds why his friend is still asleep and they explain that he has died of old age. The bird describes how death is a part of life and reminds him how much his friend loved him. One day, the last acorn that fell from the old oak begins to grow, and the new seedling and the evergreen become good friends. The ‘lonely tree’ has learnt to understand everything has a season: summer brings warmth, autumn provides seeds, winter can be lonely but spring brings new life.
Categories: Death & Bereavement, Sadness
The Lonely Tree
This book may be useful to help a child how death is an inevitable part of ageing, and life continues after the sadness of bereavement. It also may be a good starting point to talk about how to cope with loneliness or isolation.
Author: Nicholas Halliday Illustrator: Nicholas Halliday Publisher: Halliday Books
Review by: Rosemary Griffith