Framed in the context of a sweet grandfather telling a favourite tale to his library-loving granddaughter, Polly Ho-Yen's The Boy Who Grew a Tree is a pitch-perfect charmer for 5+ year-olds wondering what it will mean to have a new sibling. It’s also a beautiful book about the magic of nature, stories and libraries, and the coming together of a community, with Sojung Kim-McCarthy’s softly emotive illustrations adding further beauty and depth.

Timi has always loved growing things, and now his mum is growing something too – his baby sister. While he imagines his sister “to be like one of his seedlings”, at the same time it was almost “impossible to believe there really was a baby in his Mum’s tummy”. Amidst this confusion, as the arrival of his little sister draws ever closer, Timi discovers something rather strange and magical in his local library – the little green shoot of a tree, which grows to an incredible size after he tends and waters it. Sadly, though, the library is due to close, but perhaps Timi, his friends, and the magic of the tree can convince the grown-ups to change their plans and protect both the tree and the library.


Author, Polly Ho-Yen, Illustrated by Sojung Kim McCarthy

What the Shortlist Committee Say...

"A nourishing, reassuring tale about the magic of new life and growth, and coming to terms with change"