The Tree.jpg
Created: 29th June, 2016

The Tree

Author: Neal Layton
Illustrator: Neal Layton
Publisher: Walker

The importance of inference in reading a picture book is superbly demonstrated here. The written text is minimal. It begins with a lone tree and then drills down to the names of animal homes within it, while the pictures portray their occupants. Then come some new arrivals – what changes might they bring and will they be for good or ill? There’s a wonderful wordless central moment when the protagonists realise what they have done and before they are galvanised into affirmative action.

A lovely book to read and talk about in the early years. As children’s knowledge about describing language expands, considering the brevity of the text, this book affords many interesting opportunities for highlighting the use of adjectives, verbs, punctuation and alliteration.