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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“In a small corner of the forest, a leaf refuses to fall.” And so the parable of the reluctant leaf begins. It’s Fall, the season when leaves do fall. It’s part of the cycle of life, how the leaf enjoyed the summer sun’s warmth and grew, but now must fall and replenish the soil, add nutrients to help its tree grow bigger and stronger. The tree understands the fear and there will come a time when the tree must face the same fear as the leaf. “Soon, you will have to let go. One day, I will do the same. It is the ending to a story that was written for each of us at the beginning of time.” The tree is often referred to as the tree of wisdom for a reason: it understands the profound nature of things, the cyclical pattern of life.
T C Bartlett’s story, Letting Go, is a simple, yet complex story about life. Beautifully illustrated, the plot follows a conversation between a tree and one of its leaves that refuses to let go in the Fall. The tree shares its wisdom and, finally, the leaf most reluctantly lets go. As cycles will have it, the leaf does as the tree dictates, nurturing its soil and helping it grow big and strong, then, when it’s the tree’s turn to go, the leaf offers the same profound wisdom, guidance, and reassurance as the tree once offered the leaf. “It’s time, Tree,” the Leaf said. It’s time for you to let go.” This book could be shared with young readers, but some of its messages are intense and would suit an older audience. It’s a gem of a book, reassuring, comprehensive, and full of compassion. Beautifully told and presented.