My Heart Was a Tree


Michael Morpurgo walks in the same bluebell woods as Ted Hughes once did. The neighbours communed over nature and words. The inspiration of his surroundings and love of nature inspires Michael Morpurgo in My Heart Was a Tree, a collection of celebratory stories and poems.

There are nine lives to share in the story of the Driftwood. Then again, the almond tree recalls the day Vincent Van Gogh ‘stood there, spoke to me, reached out his hand to choose me‘ before painting her picture.

We’ve the joy of the singing tree as people return after bombing and life is renewed. Then we’ve proud ash tree, withstanding storms before the chestnut giving thanks for ‘all my days/ All my life‘. What’s more, we’ve stories, from Michael Morpurgo’s history, from India and then with hopes for the people of Ukraine.

Throughout this treasure trove of words, memories, language and wishes, we’ve a glorious explosion of pictures from Yuval Zommer. Altogether this means that My Heart Was a Tree presents as a magnificent title, a book to be treasured, read often, together and alone, known and loved. Bookwagon is proud to include this upon our wagon.

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My Heart Was a Tree

Poems and Stories to Celebrate Trees

Michael Morpurgo and Yuval Zommer

(Two Hoots)

‘Once I crept in an oakwood- I was looking for a  stag,/ I met an old woman there- all knobbly stick and rag./ She said, ‘I have your secret here inside my little bag,’ 
It seems that this poem, My Own True Family, from Ted Hughes, inspires Michael Morpurgo’s My Heart Was a Tree. After all, the writers were neighbours and the former children’s laureate now walks in the same bluebell woods as Hughes did. Thereafter, we dive into poems of trees, their history, individuality, stories and wonder.
We journey through the lives of Driftwood, to the pride, downfall and hope of a Beech. We wonder at the blossom that might have inspired Vincent Van Gogh’s almond tree. Then again, a piece of prose takes us to the mango forests with the elephants, ‘thinking and dreaming’. We learn how fences won’t diminish this creature’s love of this treat-  (rather like Farah Loves Mangos.)
Furthermore, we stretch ‘not quite as high as the sky‘ with a lone giant redwood. Then again, the final piece is a recollection of a story concerning conkers and dogs.
Bookwagon suggests that My Heart Was a Tree is a glorious gift, a collector’s item, a treasure to know and love and keep. We love this magnificent piece, with its wonderful stories and poems celebrated by Yuval Zommer’s exultant, insightful pictures. We recommend this book highly to our readers.



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