The Wish Tree

illus. by Chris Turnham. 40p. Chronicle. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452150659.
PreS-Gr 2—Charles's brother and sister tell him there is no such thing as a wish tree, but that doesn't stop him from taking his trusty sled Boggan on a quest to find one. Singing some notes of an unnamed song ("la-di-das" that can be applied to any tune, finished with Boggan's soothing "whishhhhh"), Charles optimistically sets off across a wintry landscape colored with pleasing, muted shades of blue-gray paths through the snow and tree branches of dusty rose. With the whole day ahead of them, the boy and his sled make frequent stops to help animals get food and supplies to their homes—wood to Beaver's lodge, berries to Fox's burrow, and so on. When Charles becomes weary and falls asleep on Boggan, the animals return the kindness by not only taking him to the wish tree—an unadorned white pine that exudes quiet magic and wonder—but also preparing a delicious night feast for all to share.
VERDICT Not an overtly holiday story, but one that's full of warmth and cheer that only the best of friends and the spirit of giving can provide.

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