When I first received my copy of The Reading Tree, I was immediately drawn to the illustration of the boy placing books within the limbs. This book, however, is much more than a picture book, it is the tale of a young boy who befriends a tree and reads to it for the rest of his life. It is also the tale of generations and how they teach others to obtain the love of reading. I can compare this book to The Giving Tree but with a much higher meaning behind it. I also compare it to the Free Little Libraries that have become a part of our culture. Take a book, give a book. That is exactly what this tree does house books for the entire community to come and enjoy. Based on the premise of a modern-day library, it welcomes everyone to come and enjoy its “fruits” which are the volumes of books housed in its massive branches. I especially loved the ending where Meng’s granddaughter comes and asks to read to the tree.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to libraries as well as to be used in the classroom.