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The Belonging Tree is a thoughtful picture book about respect, inclusion, and acceptance in a woodland community of animals from writer Maryann Cocca-Leffler and illustrator Kristine A. Lombardi.
Life was ordinary in the big oak tree on Forest Lane. Squirrels lived in every part of the tree, and the Gray squirrel family inhabited the knot in the middle. But the neighborhood starts to change as the big oak tree welcomes families of chipmunks, beavers, and birds. And with each new arrival, the Grays become increasingly unhappy. Can’t everything remain just as it was?
It will take an unexpected moment of heroism from a thoughtful inhabitant to finally open hearts and bind together this diverse animal community.
Christy Ottaviano Books
"Cocca-Leffler’s message-driven story is easily accessible, with concise, clear sentences, and Lombardi’s bright, humorous, and inviting illustrations of the forest setting are eye-catching. . . this much-needed tale of cooperation and inclusivity will be welcomed by readers of all ages." --Kirkus Reviews
"With its very basic message of tolerance and inclusion, this friendly, accessible book will hit home with many readers. Beautiful watercolor illustrations bring the forest to life. With essential themes woven into a charming story, this is a recommended general purchase." --School Library Journal