The After Christmas Tree

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Book Review, Picture Book

Book Details

Bethan Welby

Bethan Welby, illus. Bethan Welby. London: Scallywag Press, hb, 978 1 912650 39 2, 2020, £12.99, 32pp.

Picture book, 4+

The perfect read for an ending festive period with a touch of Christmas magic!

Christmas decorations symbolise joy and spending time with family and friends, but what happens to them at the end of the festive period? When Brian finds a neglected Christmas tree, his first instinct is to bring it home and shower it with love, watching TV with it and planting it in the garden, much to the annoyance of his family. The usual approach would explain that decorations are stored away until it is appropriate to reuse them. Instead, Bethan Welby conveys an emotive text through her gentle tone which portrays a young child’s empathy and compassion. This heartwarming book demonstrates the seemingly bizarre actions of a young child in a positive light and teaches the importance of not only caring for material objects but of sustainability and reducing waste by reusing decorations each year.  

Welby’s artistic talent is evident throughout the text; her evocative water illustrations make readers feel sympathy for the abandoned tree at the beginning, later making us share the joy when the tree is reused and loved again. The well-placed text and illustrations combine to create a truly inspiring picture book that is a careful and eco-conscious approach to teaching children to take responsibility for their own decisions. Not only is this picture book an introduction to environmental themes, but a moment of Christmas magic means this delightful book would be best shared with the family and read together when the festive period is drawing to its end.


Review by Rhiannon Jelley