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The Tree by Graeme Base

Title: The Tree

Author: Graeme Base

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 3rd November 2020

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Price: $24.99

Synopsis: A sweet, heartfelt and funny read-a-loud with the feel of a classic and a positive message of peace and sharing. Look for the charming little characters hidden on every page, and join Cow and Duck in this beautiful story by the acclaimed creator of Animalia.

This is the story of a cow, a duck and a very big tree. At first the cow and the duck are happy with their mooberries and mushquacks, living side-by-side without even noticing. But then a big storm came… Cow and Duck set out to protect their tree from one another and in doing so destroy everything they have. Can they live together and work together to rebuild, and can they learn to share?


Cow and Duck live in a tree, Cow at the top with mooberries, and Duck below the roots with his Mushquacks. The tree is sturdy until a storm comes, and Duck and Cow are determined to keep their mooberries and mushquacks safe. A bigger storm destroys the tree – and they must learn to work together – but can they set aside their differences?

This delightful story is about friendship and sharing, created by one of Australia’s most beloved storytellers, Graeme Base.

This is a beautiful story about sharing and friendship, that evolves from a presumption about someone who is a little different to you, and the fear of someone different, or a stranger, to what happens when you’re both forced into the open and have to face each other. Accompanied by lavishly beautiful and emotive illustrations that work with the words to set the scene and tell the story to the audience, both young and old, those new to Graeme Base’s books, and those who have grown up with them.

It is a book to be savoured and treasured and read over and over to remind us about the importance of working together and the power of friendship, and the ways friendship and cooperation can enrich our lives. Picture books are for all ages, and the current crop of picture books that have been coming out lately will appeal to a wide audience of all ages, and each will serve their own purposes.

This story is as much a story about friendship and cooperation as it is about nature and sharing the natural environment, but could even be used to teach younger readers about sharing in general, whether it is with friends, siblings or someone new at school.

I read a few of Graeme’s books at school, most notably, Animalia, and this one sits well with everything he has created since 1986. It is true to his style – both writing and illustration – and has a powerful yet simple message that readers of all ages will appreciate on different levels. We can all learn something from this book.

Another great picture book for all ages.

5 thoughts on “The Tree by Graeme Base”

  1. Graeme Base is such a beautiful illustrator and it sounds like a sweet story. Earlier in the year, before we were all social distancing, I picked up a Graeme Base book from a lifeline sale – it was a fictional history of dragons. Great illustrations and very funny.


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