House Held Up By Trees by Ted Koosner & Jon Klassen (Walker Books)

10173682_10152987173685446_1293694426503303157_n‘House Held Up By Trees’, is now out in paperback and to celebrate we’ve been poring over a copy.

From the once US Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, comes this hauntingly beautiful tale highlighting the struggle between man and nature.

10934073_10152987173575446_4344222960661163318_nMuch to the children’s dismay, here stands their house, which possesses not a single tree on it’s near perfect lawn. Each shoot is plucked out or mown down by their father’s lawnmower. So the children find solace in their neighbours trees and play merrily among them.

A sombre and melancholy undertone bubbles away underneath this story and Jon Klassen‘s illustrations are subtly muted to convey the sadness which are empathetic to Kooser’s thoughtful script, full of meaning and depth.

10246406_10152987178790446_3072421269834460942_nUltimately, the children grow up and move away from home and the man is left there alone. The garden becomes too much for him and so he ups and moves on, leaving the house for sale.

Klassen’s illustrations highlight the loneliness and bleakness of the house, as it is left alone, unoccupied.

10801645_10152987173495446_8153647781140884401_nThe dwelling remains empty and before long the trees take over, surrounding the lone house, almost embracing it in it’s leafy grasp.

The trees infiltrate the house in every crevice and available space and over the years the house becomes lifted from its very foundations by its new inhabitants.

This simple story subtly emphasises the powerfulness and enormity of the wild and the illustrations support the truly meaningful narrative. A must have for every shelf.

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