The Belonging Tree

The Belonging Tree

Written by Maryann Cocca Leffler

Illustrated by Kristine A. Lombardi


Age range: 4-8

Life is grand for Pa, Ma, and Little Zeke-a squirrel family living in a big oak tree. The neighborhood was perfect place to live where squirrels could play, work and eat together. However, when summer appeared blue jays arrived at the tree causing both Ma and Pa to complain that they were too noisy with their “shrinking sound.” Zeke however loved the birds singing. With the start of autumn the squirrels where in for another surprise when chipmunks moved in, once again Ma and Pa complained that the Chipmunks were loud and that they steal acorns, but Zeke did not mind.The next spring arrived with beavers moving into the neighborhood, and once again Zeke’s parents were beside themselves with their new neighbors; so much so that they moved across the river and found an old maple tree for their new home. Although Zeke missed his old home the family settled in, however, a huge storm came through and destroyed their new home. The bluejays, the chipmunks, and the beavers came to their rescue, and an important lesson was learned.

A Bookish Decree: A thought-provoking story about inclusion, accepting your neighbor, and showing respect for a fellow animal

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