World

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World is the third collaboration between author Martine Murray and illustrator Anna Read and is another powerful fable.

A man leaves the city and comes to the forest with an axe to chop down a tree. He tells the tree that he needs the wood to make a house, but the tree replies that, in fact, the tree itself is a house for the whole world. At first, the man protests and talks about all the wonderful things that humanity has built (‘the seafaring ships, the fast trains, the multi-laned highways’). However, the reader soon comes to realise the man is sad and lonely, and as the animals gather around and the tree offers its shade, ‘cool air and solid trunk’, he realises the emptiness of his materialistic life.

Murray includes two pages of text and imagery at the back of the book about the importance of trees in the ecosystem, how they provide nutrients for the mycelium below, food for the ants and the birds, and shade and shelter for marsupials. The final three pages are illustrations of all the animals that appear in the book. Children will enjoy going back through the story and finding all the creatures, providing an opportunity for a search-and-find activity.

For children aged 4 and up.