This unusual children’s picture book is about the strife of trying to reach the tasty nut, which a little mouse is looking at longingly. Bright and vivid with a very classic story, this is clearly for pre-school readers but with the humour, aimed at three and up. The goal is precisely as the title informs us, to Shake the Tree, and of course then move the tasty nut from it’s position to the ground. However, it is not as easy as you would reckon it should be, with the introduction of a fox and many other characters throughout the book.

From minibombo creators, those that created The White Book and Black Cat, White Cat, Shake the Tree is somewhat of an educational story with a twist and a lovely engagement opportunity for the young ones. Written and illustrated collaboratively from authors that work for minibombo, all Italian, there is a universal element to this book, in it’s accessible style. Vibrant and aesthetically appealing with more to capture from the illustrations than the words on the page, the book is a wonderful addition to any toddler’s collection. As long as they don’t shake it too hard of course although it does seem longstanding.

An innovative, interactive title, this book gets young readers to help the mouse and many other characters by getting them to shake the tree also, which explains the unusual printing format. Can you, the reader, help the mouse? Shake the tree – a little to the right (shake) … and a little to the left (shake shake). But – UH-OH – something else is falling from the tree, and it’s looking rather hungry, and this is how it all begins, and continues throughout the book. Playful with mischief and the classic food chain story, that ends with an unusual ending, a vegetarian bear nonetheless, there is much to keep children in suspense and second guessing.

Images courtesy of Walker Books, who have published Shake the Tree by Silvia Borando, Chiara Vignocchi and Paolo Chiarinotti.

Shake the Tree was published on 4th January 2018 by Walker Books.