Sep 072023
Review: Old Trees Have Secrets
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Book Title: Old Trees Have Secrets
Author: Ruskin Bond
Illustrator: David Yambem
Publisher: Talking Cub, an imprint of Speaking Tiger Books
Type: Paperback
Pages: 20
Recommended Age: 3-6 years

Whenever we go for a walk, Neil (my 6 year old son) looks at big trees and asks “How old do you think that tree is? A million years? Do you think it has seen dinosaurs?” He finds it fascinating that old trees might have seen dinosaurs, and secretly, I think he sometimes wishes he was one of those trees! This is exactly what the book “Old trees have secrets” is about!

Written in rhyme, the book takes the reader through all the possible sights that a tree can see – good and bad, happy and sad. Children playing, birds singing, storms and wars. Trees bear silent witness to everything, and have so many stories to tell.

The book is written in a very simple, easy to understand language. What I really liked about the book is its nuanced depiction of the good and the bad in the world – the author has not tried to paint a picture of an ideal world, but tries to show the reality to children, and in doing so, enables them to see for themselves how their actions can have real consequences. This is done through the combined use of beautiful illustrations and powerful words. 

“They’ve seen people happy, they’ve seen people sad,

They’ve seen the world peaceful, they’ve seen it go mad.”

The above words are accompanied with the image of a family playing happily under a tree, along with another of riots where the tree is completely burnt!

My 6 year old loved the illustrations, and the entire concept – he now is even more vociferous about protecting big trees, because by cutting them down we would lose all the stories that they have within them! In fact, Ruskin Bond’s writing is so magical, that he has also started having conversations with trees, saying “Oh Hello there Mr tree, what story will you tell me today?”.   

If you enjoyed this review and wish to listen to some tree stories, you can buy the book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),


Disclaimer: We are proud to be part of the #kbcReviewerSquad and received this book as a review copy from the publisher.

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