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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
A narcissistic black crow claims a large oak tree as his personal domain. After all, he is quite impressive, if he does say so himself. When one day he is visited by a squirrel that believes the crow’s big oak tree is the perfect storage shelter for winter nuts, the crow is livid, insisting that the squirrel leave his tree. The poor little squirrel does as the crow demands, but with a heavy heart. Not long afterward, the crow is visited by a snake that attempts to slither up the tree. Wanting nothing to do with the snake, the crow picks it up and flies the terrified snake to a nearby pond where he roughly drops the snake to the ground. Unwelcome visitors do not stop with the snake, leaving the crow extremely upset. When he becomes the victim of a violent act and is saved by one of his unwelcome visitors, the crow has a change of heart...
The Crow and the Big Oak Tree by Anne Toole is a delightful tale that offers a lesson in acceptance. Young readers will be reminded to overlook physical differences in others. Richa Kinra’s illustrations are vibrant and eye catching, completing the package of a nicely written and visually attractive story. A nice perspective on a necessary lesson. I envisage The Crow and the Big Oak Tree not only marketed as for individual sale, but also for public read-alongs, library functions, and a curriculum foundation for a broader lesson plan in tolerance.