“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
As a former Christian school Library Media Specialist, I was always on the hunt for great literature that espoused Christian values. The Tale of Three Trees is Angela Elwell Hunt's faithful picture book retelling of an American folktale that contains excellent Christian themes parents and/or teachers can use as a tool to enhance the Christmas or Easter stories. It is a narrative simple enough for an older toddler to understand yet poignant enough to move the heart of many adults.
The story begins with three trees contemplating their future and sharing their dreams and aspirations with one another. The future plans they envision for themselves are dashed when each are cut down and fashioned into something they at first never desired nor imagined. As the pages of the story unfold, the trees are shown that they did indeed realize their dreams of “greatness”—although not in the way they imagined or expected.
Readers will grasp several important themes:
1. Man’s perspective is limited, but God’s perspective is always perfect and right.
2. Man can make his plans, but God has His ultimate purposes.
3. All of God’s creation contains hidden potential. Our task is to grasp that God-given potential for the glory of God.
4. Great things can be accomplished from the humblest of origins.
The illustrations, done by Tim Jonke, are soft and pleasing and in keeping with the gentle yet powerful story.
The Tale of Three Trees is a must-read for children and adults alike. It is a reminder to all of us that God the Creator does not make mistakes. He has a plan and a purpose for all of us—plans and purposes we cannot even dream or imagine. When we yield our lives to Him, He can do mighty things through each of us for His glory.
Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. (www.zondervan.com). The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ All rights reserved.
Pam A. is a mother of four and the grandmother of three. She has extensive media background as a former assistant children's librarian and a Christian school library media specialist.