The Glass Tree
M. Mukandan
Poonam Athalye
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
picture book, fiction, fantasy


In a reversal of roles little Unni’s aunt is pleading with him to tell her a story. Unni stares at the wall. Images form in his mind and he starts to narrate a story. Chief Kuruman Pannikkan liked to worship under a fragrant old champaka tree home to myriads of birds. Along pops up a little man from the west, Melkorran, who promises him to make a beautiful new tree to pray under, one that would never die and would never ever litter the place by shedding its leaves.

Down went the fragrant old champaka tree, and soon in its place stood an elaborately crafted glass tree, with glass leaves and glass butterflies and even glass nests. At first, Pannikan was thrilled to have a tree whose leaves glittered and shone in the sunlight.

But soon everyone started to wonder that however, beautiful the glass tree was, what good was it if birds could not build nests in it and children could not climb in its branches?

Beautifully illustrated with vibrant colours and eye-catching details, the book successfully conveys a subtle message on saving our trees from being axed.

An absolutely delightful book.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee