Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbit




December 2018



Imprint: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

RRP: $16.99

In 1975 Tuck Everlasting was first published to great acclaim garnering accolades and awards. It has since been twice adapted to film and once to stage, and been voted repeatedly as being amongst the top 100 children’s books. Particularly, I would say from my observation it is a very much-loved and oft read book with American children. That, of course, does not preclude the readership of Australian kids but it seems to me that very often it has been a book on American school reading lists.

That could be about to change with this beautifully presented gift edition with a cover that demands for the book to be picked up, perused and savoured. (Oh my gosh the gold on that cover!)

Winnie Foster is determined to run away from the strictness of her home life and escapes into the family wood early one morning, where she sees a handsome young man drinking from a hidden spring. When she asks for a drink as well there is instant agitation and shortly thereafter the boy’s mother and brother also appear whereupon Winnie is whisked away into the chaotic but cozy home of the Tucks. It seems that the hidden spring is magical and bestows immortal life and it is not just Winnie who is intrigued by this revelation. The group has been followed by a sinister man in a yellow suit, who is revealed to be a villain of the first order intent on selling the magical water to the highest bidders. The drama that follows puts the Tucks in great danger particularly Mae (Mrs) Tuck but Winnie is determined to save her new friends.

By the end of the narrative not only are the Tucks safe and doomed to continue their unending existences but Winnie understands the inherent dangers of true immortality.

It is a beautiful and pensive story which requires some serious reflection and leads to many productive discussions about the concept of immortal life and also ‘being careful what you wish for’.

Astute and thoughtful readers from around ten years upwards would truly enjoy this wonderful book.

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