top of page

Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2021
Shortlisted for CILLIP Carnegie Medal 2021







176 pages

Pub Date

Aug 5, 2020



Age 13+

The Girl Who Became A Tree Hardback

A Story Told In Poems

By Joseph Coelho
Illustrated by Kate Milner

Intense imaginative power combines with brilliant poetic technique in a major new work by one of the leading poets writing for young people.

Daphne is unbearably sad and adrift. She seeks solace both in the security of her local library and the escape her phone screen provides. Trying to make sense of what has happened, she recalls memories of shared times and stories past, and in facing the darkness she finds a way back from the tangle of fear and confusion, to feel connected once more with her friends and family. Joseph Coelho deploys a wide variety of poetic forms with consummate skill in his narration of events, seamlessly but searingly weaving together the ancient legend of Daphne, who was turned into a tree to avoid the attentions of the god Apollo, and a totally modern tale, mixing real life and fantasy, in which a latter-day Daphne seeks her own freedom.



with free UK delivery from our shop


"Heart-breaking, powerful, totally involving...a tour de force...full of energy and a rich palette of language. Evocative and powerful illustrations from one of our most innovative illustrators."

Tricia Adams - Love Reading

"A classic...the way Joseph has blended the modern with the mythic held me totally - I loved it. Absolutely loved it. That's what we have been waiting for. A great book...Not been so excited about a book for a long time."

Pie Corbett

"Very special. Multi-layered, emotionally intense, beautifully illustrated and written by a poet at the top of his game...beautifully constructed...stayed with me long after reading. Absolutely superb."

John Biddle

Teachers' Notes for The Girl Who Became A Tree


Click image to download resource

Joseph Coelho


Joseph Coelho, poet and playwright, is a leading figure in performance poetry. His plays have received special note from The Verity Bargate Award and The Bruntwood Playwriting Competition. Joseph has been a guest poet on Radio 4’s Front Row and performed poems for Channel 4 and CBeebies Radio. His debut poetry collection Werewolf Club Rules won the CLPE CLiPPA Poetry Award 2015. Joseph lives in Folkestone, Kent.

Kate Milner


Kate Milner was a librarian before embarking on a new and distinguished career as an illustrator and author. She studied illustration at Central St Martin's, and is an MA in Children's Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin. Her illustrations and prints have been shown in London galleries and national touring exhibitions. She lives in Bedfordshire.


You might also like...

bottom of page