It’s my stop today, and day one, on the Random Things blogger tour for The Last Tree: Seed of Hope by Luke Adam Hawker. Sometimes I am sent a book to review, and upon opening it, I immediately know it will take a place on the shelves I reserve for books I will always keep. The Last Tree is definitely a keeper. It tells the tale of Olive, a young girl living in a world without trees. My heart sinks at the thought of such a place and should encourage us all to double down on our mission to reverse the damage we have inflicted on our planet. Young Olive visits The Last Tree Museum and there embarks on a magical journey of discovery.
The book is full of valuable life lessons. The words are great, but the hand-drawn illustrations are incredible. They are scribbly in places and neat in others. The lines are repetitive, soothing and mesmerising. There are engaging vignettes, well-observed close-ups, and epic wide shots, which draw me into the detail. In these, I see something different each time I flick through the pages. It makes me want to pick up a pencil or drawing pen. Luke’s background as an architectural designer, before coming a full-time artist in 2015, shines through. Some of you may also recognise his drawing style from his appearance on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of The Year recently.
I am often cautious of over-hyping a book, lest readers are subsequently disappointed. There is no such concern here. The Last Tree is set to become a classic. It’s a celebration of life, trees and our responsibility to keep Earth alive.
My ten-year-old daughter also read it. She says the story is sweet and heart-warming, and that the illustrations are beautiful.
It’s certainly a book for the young and old, and everyone in between.
This blog is written by Hannah Powell, book blogger, author and director of two garden centres. Her award-winning memoir, The Cactus Surgeon, compares her days in the concrete of London, leading to burnout, with her nature-rich upbringing in rural Essex. It’s a nature and health memoir full of mindful moments.