The Girl Who Talked to Trees


Olive finds comfort and company in the oak tree that stands ‘alone in a meadow on the hillside opposite the house’. It seems that while she rarely talks to anyone, she can tell anything to the tree and somehow it hears her and understands.

Therefore, when her father, Sir Sydney arrives at a plan for a summerhouse that will involve felling the oak tree, she is so distraught that she speaks up. Shocked at his daughter’s speech, her father gives her until the evening to return with a new plans, something more impressive. It seems only the oak might understand Olive’s fears. Can it advise her now?

Olive is invited to meet with other members of the trees that live in ‘the secret valley’. Secretly,  magically, they reveal their histories, secret stories, that seem to build so that she knows what to do. Could it be that The Girl Who Talked to Trees might ‘speak up‘? Could she share the stories she has heard?

Alongside Natasha Farrant’s superb, empathetic, passionate story of nature, history, our place on the planet and the environment, are Lydia Corry’s glorious illustrations. Then again, we’re gifted information about seven trees, realising their individual strengths, horticulture and histories.

Bookwagon adores this book. We recommend The Girl Who Talked to Trees for reading together, gifting, treasuring and knowing. It is a highly recommended selection for home and school.

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The Girl Who Talked to Trees

Natasha Farrant, illustrated by Lydia Corry

(Head of Zeus)– hardback

Olive is The Girl Who Talked to Trees. It seems ‘a tree is a very sensible choice for a friend‘. What’s more, Olive’s preferred companion is a ‘broad and comfortable oak‘ Thereafter, she reads, draws, lies upon a branch and tells ‘everything‘ to this companion.
Therefore, when Olive’s father calls the family together to announce a New Plan that involves building  ‘a summerhouse! For parties and picnics’ in the meadow she knows her oak is threatened. Then again, Sir Sydney seems unwavering in his decision that the aged oak must make way for his Chaos and Disruption. However, as he is so surprised that Olive’s prepared to stand against his plans, he offers a condition. Thereafter, if Olive returns with plans for ‘something more impressive than [his] summerhouse‘ her oak will survive.
What will Olive do? Surely, there cannot be answers offered by the trees in the wood? Is it possible that the oak tree might hear her plea for help? Might it be that Olive enters some ‘other place’? Thereafter, could the trees’ secrets be revealed? It seems there are histories to be told, from the origins of the oak, to a linden’s glimpse of a forest that goes on forever.
Alongside seven trees’ individual stories each is introduced by its horticultural facts. These include its Latin name, strengths, life cycle and individual peculiarities. What’s more, they’re illustrated by Lydia Corry, Her pictures are breathtaking, respectful and so decorative. As with Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror, her earlier collaboration with award-winning writer Natasha Farrant, this is a triumph. Altogether, The Girl Who Talked To Trees is a book to share, gift, read again and treasure.


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