The Tree That Talks:
A Book about "Living in the Moment" for Children
by Barbara Anne Syassen Trafford Publishing

"If you keep thinking about yesterday, you might miss out on what you can enjoy right now."

This book seeks to teach children how to live a positive life daily in spite of disappointments. The subtitle succinctly describes the content of this picture book, and the dedication notes the book is for parents who will teach children this new approach and the children who will carry it forward. Mixed media colored illustrations by young artists complement the text throughout.

The story is given from the child's point of view of a girl named Annabella. Her favorite outing with her mother and dog is a trip to the park. There she talks with her favorite tree. The tree wisely reminds her when she is sad to think about only the present. The tree suggests that Annabella think about things that make her happy so the sad thoughts will go away. The book addresses how to deal with disappointments that are faced by children of all ages. The author provides a Christian meditation in the back of the book which reflects the tree's advice. It is recommended to read the meditation to children at bedtime. Scripture references provide a biblical connection.

The author describes nature scenes children would enjoy. She worked in natural therapies and grew up in Hula Papua, New Guinea, in the Pacific. This is an area where the people are trying to build a greener community, providing excellent background from which to suggest connecting with nature for peace of mind. The book is an inspirational read for both children and adults. It should even help parents work through some of their own disappointments. Oh, that adults had a talking tree to give them such sage advice.

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