Just Imagine

The Tree That’s Meant To Be

Authored by Yuval Zommer
Published by Oxford University Press

A story of growth rooted in Christmas tradition.

A fir tree struggles to grow as the other trees do ‘looking wonkey’ and ‘feeling small’. It just isn’t quite pretty enough to be a Christmas Tree. However, the tree finds that not everyone’s paths in life are the same, and discovers that it’s meant to be.

Yuval Zommer is better known for his stunning non-fiction books on the animal kingdom The Big Book of… series. Nature is clearly of great importance to Zommer, and it shows in The Tree That’s Meant To Be. At its core, this book is about the seasons, growth and patience. Patience in nature and ourselves. Growth is a gradual process, both physically and emotionally.

The story is more EYFS/KS1, but there’s plenty of rich discussion for all ages. For example, the book’s title, which is a repeated line. These give moments for the reader to reflect and think about who we are and why we’re here.

Every word in this book seems carefully chosen. For instance, why do the forest animals dress the tree and not decorate it? It’s a lovely example of how a choice of one word can open up a discussion.

But sometimes we don’t need to discuss a text. We can just enjoy the warmth of a cosy story about hope and belonging, with some classic Christmas magic.