COS Kids Read: The Searcher and Old Tree
At Robbins Library last month, I noticed a children’s book with a raccoon and a tree on the cover, The Searcher and the Old Tree by David McPhail. I was drawn to it because we have a big tree in front of our house inhabited by raccoons. Each spring we watch the babies from our second story porch, as they explore the branches of their big tree under the watchful eyes of their parents before going to sleep for the day.
The book opens as the Searcher, a raccoon, returns to Old Tree after a night of scavenging. Belly full, he climbs into the arms of Old Tree and falls deeply asleep. Throughout the day, a powerful storm swells the sea and shakes the ground. Fierce winds threaten to pull Old Tree up from the roots, but can’t. Old Tree holds firm and the Searcher sleeps through the storm, peacefully oblivious.
Old Tree is not simply a “giving” tree. Old Tree is a symbol of strength, protection, shelter, selflessness, and unconditional love. A twist at the end shows the Searcher is not oblivious to Old Tree’s generosity. They seem to honor each other in their nurturing relationship. One can draw parallels to any caring relationship, but particularly parents and children and our relationship with God.
Mr. McPhail tenderly conveys a symbiotic relationship featuring protection, gratitude, acceptance, and mutual kindness.
Encourage new parents, reassure a child, or simply tell someone you’ll always be there for them. Give them a copy of The Searcher and Old Tree.