________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 25. . . .March 2, 2012

cover

The Tree Girl.

Darlene Twerdochlib. Illustrated by Tara Somerset.
Brandon, MB: Hearts of Peace Everywhere Inc. (www.heartsofpeace.ca), 2008.
25 pp., stapled, $10.99.
ISBN 978-0-9811697-0-5.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Inderjit Deogun.

** /4

   

excerpt:

Today, he was a little quieter. It was like he knew. He took one look in her eyes and could see how sad she was. While she was paying for her supplies, he told her about a new bookstore that opened up down the street. He thought there might be something there that would cheer her up and told her to stop by.

So she did.

Wow!

What a place. It was full of so many books. She didn't quite know where to start. Then she saw something shiny and looking closer she could see her face looking back at her from inside the smooth cross. She flipped open the Bible and this passage appeared before her...

 

Cecelia lives in a tree. It's the one place that she feels truly safe, safe from those that constantly make fun of her stumpy arms and stumpy legs. For Cecelia, safety comes with a hefty price: Loneliness. A friend with whom she can eat, laugh and play is the one thing for which Cecelia so desperately longs.

internal art     Normally, the length of a picture book as long as The Tree Girl is not a cause for concern. Unfortunately, in this instance, there are several occasions where the story seems to simply run on; thus, The Tree Girl would benefit greatly from being shortened. Additionally, many questions are raised as the reader continues through the story: "Where are Cecelia's parents?", "Where does she get money from?" and "Why isn't she in school?" Finally, The Tree Girl's greatest drawback is that it reads like a story that's been made on the spot.

      The message of The Tree Girl, by Darlene Twerdochlib, is that of finding inner strength through religious scripture. Twerdochlib's message is not only a powerful one, but it is also one that many consider to be a universal truth. However, The Tree Girl's message does not compensate for the many issues with its execution.

Recommended with reservations.

Inderjit Deogun is currently pursuing a career in publishing with a particular interest in children's literature.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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