The Tree: An Environmental Fable
Written and Illustrated by Neal Layton
A tree is a home. A home for birds in their nest. A home for squirrels in their nest. A home for owls in their hollow. A home for rabbits in their burrow under the roots. Told in very simple language, the story is one that a first grader can easily read on their own. Of course, teachers and parents will want to read it with the kids the first time just to discuss all the implications.
Two humans decide to build a home at the location of a tree, not realizing that their plans would seriously disrupt or destroy the lives of many other creatures. When they come to that realization, they are able to find a way for everyone to live in harmony.
The Tree makes the idea of environmental responsibility personal. The humans in the story realize that the animals need their homes and might have emotions too. They do their best to fulfill their own needs while helping the animals and the tree itself. Sharing is the key, and kids can understand this.
This is heartwarming and beautiful book.