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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
The Pabalu Tree, written by Katharine Teisseire and illustrated by Mariana Andrusyshyn, is a colourful and charming children’s story about a little orphan called Roy who goes in search of a very special giving tree. The Pabalu Tree sounds special indeed because it is “the best place in the world you can imagine to be.” Along the way he meets hungry fairies, a lonely elf, and dwarves fighting over gold – all need the giving tree, the Pabalu Tree, in their own way, and they tag along with Roy until it is found. But what exactly will they find, and does the magical tree have something for everyone?
This is a short, gentle, and thoughtful story written in a simple, clear, and in places, rhyming style. The tale of young Roy and his need to find something that will give him what he is missing in life is a touching one, and young story lovers will warm to his plight and determination. I like the way he is willing to share his journey with others who could also benefit from discovering the comfort and magic of The Pabalu Tree. There are some lovely fun moments when no one can pronounce “Pabalu” – except Roy, of course. The illustrations by talented artist Mariana Andrusyshyn are wonderful – unique, detailed, bright, appealing – and complement the story perfectly. It's hard to pick out a favorite as each one conveys the mood of the story and the characters well, but I love the illustration on page 20 where everyone looks towards the light at their discovery. Children will love the idea of a Pabalu Tree and there is a good message about how we all need security, love, and nurturing. Katharine Teisseire’s book is a delightful story for any child’s home or class library and so I sincerely recommend it.