Book Spotlight: Last Tree in the City by Peter Carnavas

This is a simple but emotive story about bringing a city back to life, thanks to a young boy who cared enough to change it.

Edward lived in a city that was full of concrete and buildings and void of colour. At the end of his street was a part of the city that was different. There stood the last tree.

For Edward, this tree was a place of joy. He would climb the tree, read in the tree and lose time in the tree.

Midway through the book, Edward finds that his tree has gone. We can’t even see the boy’s face but as a reader you cry along with him as he hunches over the tree stump. That is the power of Peter Carnavas’ illustrations; They are subtle but highly emotive.

As if by a miracle, or maybe it was simply hope, the boy finds a small remnant of the tree and plants it in the back of his trike with the help of gloves, soil, shovel and water. He carries it with him everywhere and starts something special.

People begin growing trees and plants in the strangest of places: in trolleys, umbrellas, guitars and cans. The city becomes alive with colour. This double page spread is an absolute delight to the eyes. In fact, I have it open and displayed on my kitchen bench. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

Peter Carnavas writes such meaningful stories, with no need for excess words. His message is clear in this simple story; that as humans we take trees for granted. They are sacrificed to make way for our expanding lifestyle, but we don’t notice it.  As we see in Edward’s example however, someone’s passion and appreciation for trees can be infectious and we need these people to remind us of what’s important.

Buy this book directly from the publisher, New Frontier Publishing

Have you read Last Tree in the City? How would you rate it?

Book details:

Last Tree in the City

Author and Illustrator: Peter Carnavas


Format: Hardback

Publisher: New Frontier Pty Ltd, September 2010

RRP: $24.95

Recommended for ages: 2+

Book Spotlight: Last Tree in the City by Peter Carnavas


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