The Tree by Neal Layton

The Tree

Written by Neal Layton
Illustrated by Neal Layton

3+ readers   Picture Book Party   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A tree stands on a hillside in the sun. It’s tall and strong, but ominously next to it a sign reads ‘land sold’. A close-up shows a nest up in the branches, the next page reveals a drey with squirrel family. A cut away section underground shows a cosy rabbit burrow. Next a truck arrives with two smiling people. Is it imagination or does the tree look like suddenly nervous? A plan shows a fine house on the plot, but no sign of the tree. The people set to with a saw and the animals burst out. Suddenly, with the nest at her feet, we notice that the woman is pregnant. Back to the drawing board they go and after more hammering, there’s a better burrow, a mended nest and a happy house. It’s an important parable delightfully told, a clear, moving demonstration of the importance of sharing the world. ~ Andrea Reece


The Tree by Neal Layton

The tree. Home to a family of birds in their nest, squirrels in their drey and rabbits in their burrow. But what happens to the animals when a man and woman decide to cut it down and use it for their dream house? Can the tree be home to both the animals and the humans?

A simple yet fun and distinctive picture book, with a strong environmental message about the importance of respecting animal habitats, by the award-winning Neal Layton.

Reviews extremely simple and beautifully illustrated story. Culture Baby It is a story aimed at younger readers who will appreciate reading it over and over again, but its message is appealing to a much wider audience. This is also an excellent recommendation for schools who want a gentle approach to exploring the impact of our actions on the world we live in. Inis Magazine This excellent picture book, which at first glance is perfect for younger readers but promotes themes that can be explored by all ages, highlights the importance of understanding the environment around us and how our actions, deliberate or not, can harm it. The Reading Zone A delightful story with a strong environmental message, this fun and distinctive picture book for young children is shortlisted for the Gold Smarties Award. Primary Times

About the Author

Neal Layton
Neal was born in Chichester in 1971. He wanted to be an astronomer, but then decided that he would become an artist instead. So in 1990 he took a Foundation course in Art and Design at Northbrook College of Art and Design, he then went on to do a BA in Graphic Design at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. Neal graduated with special commendations for his course work and final project. In 1995 he studied for an Illustration MA at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, where he gained a Distinction. He has illustrated a number of books for Bloomsbury: Wicked Poems, Howler, Zartog’s Remote, Nothing Scares Us, Rover and The Photo, of which he is also the author.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 3


Neal Layton
More books by Neal Layton

Author's Website


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th May 2016




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