Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
MG Fantasy, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends, 224 Pages
What I Didn’t Like:
- Naming of the characters, while interesting, was also a bit distracting. I cannot be the only person who lost at least 10 minutes of the day trying to think what other names Squirrels might give themselves if they all have to start with Squ.
- The age range is unusual. The short sentences, beautiful pictures, and language would appeal to a younger audience. But I feel like the younger audience wouldn’t grasp the full nuance of the message we were going for. It wasn’t an obvious enough message for third graders, for example. I suppose this problem can be solved by reading it with an adult who can discuss those nuances with you.
- I’m not sure it’s a realistic solution to a real problem. I’m glad she approaches the idea of feeling safe in your community after what feels like targeted hatred. I’m just not sure we got an acceptable solution. I suppose only time would tell.
What I Did Like:
- The idea of telling a story from the perspective of a tree was fascinating and very well done. Language and naming traditions are highlighted to make sure kids know the world is bigger and wider than them, which is cool.
- The message is great. Making friends, relying on each other, wishing, telling your story, knowing your history, supporting friends … this is all highlighted in a fun way with animals and nature.
- The illustrations are great! I did miss them on my first read because I listened to the audiobook. I grabbed a copy at the local bookstore after my read though and flipped through. Truly they’re beautiful!
Who Should Read This One:
- This would be great for a 3rd or 4th grade class or small group to read with an adult to help them unpack everything from the story. It’s got fun characters, cute animals, and great messages.
My Rating: 3 Stars.
- Good book for group reading with kiddos.