written and illustrated by Matt Ottley (Dirt Lane Press)
A unique, multi-sensory experience, The Tree of Ecstasy and Unbearable Sadness is a long-form picture book with an accompanying soundtrack, offering the reader complete immersion into this poignant tale.
From the discovery of the disease to eventual self-acceptance, this is an allegorical story of a boy living with psychosis, where his disease is re-imagined as a tree that lives inside him, blooming flowers of ecstasy and bearing fruit of sadness.
When the boy gives in to the power of the tree, he enters another realm where he embarks on an Alice in Wonderland-esque quest to find true beauty.
A multi-layered narrative paired with gorgeous imagery, this is one of those thought-provoking tales that will leave you with goosebumps and memories that will last long after you’ve closed the book.
I’d recommend this book to readers aged 15 and above.