Thursday 28 April 2016

The Tree

The Tree by Neal Layton (Walker Books)
PB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9781406358216

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

It begins with a piece of land for sale. All that’s on the land is a tree. A couple arrive to build their home. They have a design of their house on hand and dreams of the outcome.

But unknown to the couple who must remove the tree to build the house, it is home to families: squirrels and owls and a burrow of rabbits. When the couple begin cutting, the families pour out of the tree in fear of their lives.

Distraught at what they’ve discovered, the couple cease their work. Is there a solution to be found? Can the needs of the animals that have made their home in the tree, and those of the humans be made compatible?

This is a fantastic picture book that reflects on how animals live in harmony; sharing their homes and natural surroundings. It’s a powerful message about humans being conscious of preserving and sharing nature with other living things in a way that accommodates them all.

This delightful picture book for the 3+ year age group has stunning illustrations in vibrant colours, and a strong environmental theme. It will surely initiate conversations at home and in early learning centres around its many important issues.

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