Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Forever Tree

By Tereasa Surratt and Donna Lukas, Illustrated by Nicola Slater
Reviewed by Ryan Traynor, Editorial Advisor
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers
For ages 3 – 7


The Forever Tree is a story inspired by a real tree in Wisconsin at an old summer camp. This tree becomes an important part of the community, not only for the people, but for the animals. The book follows the tree while it grows and the animals interact with it. One day a grandfather hangs a swing on the tree for his granddaughter, attracting families from all around. The tree becomes an integral piece of the setting and the events there. Years pass and one day the tree does not reawaken and the grandfather does not return. Rather than forget the tree and the memories that grew there, the community (people and animals alike) rally together to build a treehouse around the tree to keep the special moments coming for future generations. The treehouse is a fitting legacy to both the tree, and the grandfather.

The Forever Tree is a heartfelt story about how a tree can be an important spark to ignite a community. With common interests, the animals and people work together to keep memories alive. The book is lively and optimistic, making the reader feel hopeful until the very end. What I liked most about the book was the vintage style pictures which made me feel that I was sharing a family story. In addition, I think children will appreciate the cute ways animals and people interact in the book when the risk of losing the tree seems great. This story about loss and renewal leaves the reader with a good feeling that when people use their “hearts, brains, and hands, they can make things that last forever.”