This book begins with a framing story which sets the scene. After their regular trip to the library a young girl asks her grandfather to retell her favourite story – the one about the boy who grew a tree.
And so the story of a young boy called Timi unfolds. Timi loves the natural world; he nurtures plants and protects wildlife. Lonely and feeling abandoned because his mother’s focus is on his new baby sister, Timi discovers a plant growing unexpectedly in a derelict library. Returning regularly to look after it, Timi quickly finds this is no ordinary plant. It responds incredibly rapidly to care and attention growing so quickly it soon fills the library. However, the plants days may be numbered as the library is due to be demolished, can Timi his friends and family find a way to save it?
This is a story with just a hint of magic which celebrates the natural world, the importance of libraries and the power of community activism. It also sensitively explores a child’s unsettled feelings and the inevitably changing family dynamics when a new baby is born particularly in a case like this where there are initial health concerns.
The soft black and white illustrations perfectly match the warmth of the story which would be great to read aloud to young children and would also be an accessible and engaging read for newly independent readers.