The Tree (Hardcover)

An Environmental Fable

By Neal Layton, Neal Layton (Illustrator)

Candlewick, 9780763689520, 40pp.

Publication Date: February 7, 2017

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


When a family wants to cut down a tree to build a house, what happens to the animals’ nests and burrows? Can a tree be home to everyone?

For the rabbits, birds, and squirrels, the big tree is home. But then come two new arrivals with wonderful plans, all ready to create their dream house. What will it mean for the animal families if their tree is cut down? With empathy and imagination, Neal Layton offers a hopeful outlook in this simple and powerful fable about the harmony of the natural world.

About the Author

Neal Layton has illustrated more than forty books for children. His books have won the U.K.’s prestigious Nestlé Smarties Children’s Book Prize and been short-listed for many others. The Tree was inspired by his vacations in a forest in France. He says, “It was during these visits, while sitting among the trees and animals, watching my family grow up around me, that I wrote this book.” Neal Layton lives in England.

Praise For The Tree: An Environmental Fable

If Neal Layton were a bird, he’d be part of that genus that includes John Burningham and Quentin Blake, because it is with similar delight and abandon that he warbles and flits about his own branches.
—The New York Times Book Review

This sweet and simple story (only 38 words) conveys an important and powerful message...Suitable for independent reading, this title is also ideal for group sharing and a perfect choice for Earth Day presentations. Large and small collections should make room on their shelves for this lovely offering.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

With just a few words in large type on each double-page spread, the spare text leaves plenty of room for kids to observe, imagine, and talk about what’s happening in each scene. This appealing picture book is just right for reading aloud.
—Booklist Online

A feather-light tribute to finding common ground—or make that common air space.
—Kirkus Reviews

A delightful story perfectly complemented with fun, expressive illustrations, this seemingly simple story offers reflective thought on empathy and learning to live harmoniously with all living things.
—Reading Eagle (from Kendal Rautzhan's "Books to Borrow")

Layton’s fable offers a simple, thought-provoking message on humans sharing the natural environment with other species.
—Literacy Daily