The Memory Tree By Britta Teckentrup




This book would be perfect for anyone wanting to open a dialogue about life and death. I can well imagine seeking out this one for the loss of a pet or a grandparent. It is beautifully written and beautifully well thought-out.


Fox has lived a wonderful life, but he is tired. One day, in the forest, Fox lies down and falls asleep, forever.

The other animals are devastated. Fox has been their friend for many years and they cannot imagine life without him.

One by one they begin to tell stories of their memories with Fox, and through their sadness, they start to smile.

Suddenly, in the place where Fox fell asleep, a tree begins to grow. It grows and grows and provides shelter and warmth to the others in the forest.

Their stories and memories of Fox have created this beautiful tree and through it, Fox will always remain in their hearts.

Why I love it:

This book is a little bit of ‘wow’. I can’t quite believe I’ve never come across it before, as it really is the perfect book for discussing death and loss of a loved one.

Having said that, I’m pretty sure I would never be able to read this story without bursting into tears; but I will definitely give it my best shot when I need to.

The themes addressed in The Memory Tree are not easy themes to deal with and this story tackles them gently and positively. It’s a wonderful book.

Themes/ideas to discuss with your child:

  • Life
  • Death
  • Love
  • Memories
  • Friendship
  • Forever
  • The idea that someone we have lost, never really leaves us
  • Grief
  • Acceptance
  • Moving on

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • What kind of animal is sitting beneath the tree?
  • Why do you think it might be called The Memory Tree?
  • What do you notice about the buds on the tree and the animal?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this book? Why/why not?
  • How did the animals feel when they first saw that Fox had fallen asleep forever?
  • Have you ever felt this way?
  • Which animal started the sharing of memories?
  • How did it make the animals feel when they started sharing their memories of Fox?
  • Why do you think talking about Fox and remembering him, made the other animals feel better?
  • Why do you think the tree grew?
  • Do you believe that in some way, Fox will always be with them? Explain your feelings to me.

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