Tell Me Tree cover


The Tell Me Tree

Karen Inglis tells us more about her book, which helps children to share their worries

A majestic London Plane tree on Barnes Green, close to the pond, has inspired a new children’s book.

The picture and activity book for ages 4-8 by bestselling Barnes children’s author Karen Inglis has received early praise from parents and teachers for its ability to help children talk about how they’re feeling. Although conceived before the Covid outbreak it is resonating with many during the challenges of the lockdown period.

The Tell-Me Tree took three years for Karen to complete after she first had the beginnings of an idea. “I must have walked past that tree hundreds of times in the last 25 years,” she says, “but one particular evening I spotted a face and nose in its trunk and thereafter just couldn’t get it out of my mind. I knew it would feature in one of my stories and, although I had no idea what that story might be, I was certain that the tree would be caring, wise and friendly, and that children would gravitate towards it for that reason.”

The story helps children talk about how they’re feeling – be that happy, sad, proud, sad, lonely or anywhere in between, and includes activity pages where children can discuss, draw or write about how they’re feeling. There are also links to free resources including downloadable posters to colour in and add family or friends below the tree, tips on how to draw your own Tell-Me Tree, and links to guidance for grown-ups who may be worried about a child.

You can buy signed copies of The Tell-Me Tree from The Barnes Bookshop and order it from any high street bookshop or online at Amazon, Waterstones and other stores.

To read more about the inspiration for the book and see a picture of the tree in Barnes that inspired the story visit

Karen’s time travel adventure for ages 8-11 The Secret Lake, partly inspired by Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park (and featured in Time and Leisure when it first came out in 2011), is now a UK/US bestseller and been translated into seven languages.