Friday, March 10, 2017

Anne Toole Presents The Crow and the Big Oak Tree

There once lived a big black crow. He thought he was the most beautiful and wonderful creature there ever was. He knew he was in a class of his own, and there wasn't any other animal in the forest that could ever compare to his magnificence!

One day as the crow was flying around, he came upon a big oak tree in the middle of the forest. The big crow thought, "This tree is a lot like me. It is big, beautiful, and wonderful." He decided since he was so different from all the other animals, he should have a tree of his own. In his mind, the tree belonged to him.

One day a little brown squirrel ran up the tree with a nut in his mouth. The squirrel had found a little hole in the tree and thought that it would be a great place to store his nuts for the winter. The crow flew down to the squirrel when he spotted him putting a nut in the hole. The crow said, "Little squirrel, you are not like me with your beady, brown eyes and your bushy, floppy tail. Therefore, you need to get out of this tree. It belongs to me!"

You will recall that we met Anne Toole through her book, A Dog Named Cat. Do check my review if you haven't already. This time we have a very vain crow that has claimed a beautiful big oak tree as his own! He thinks he deserves a tree all to himself and has claimed a very large Oak!  Some might say he was being selfish, but it really went beyond that...

When a little squirrel came to live in the tree as well and started to bring nuts to store in a little hole he'd found in the trunk of the tree, the crow watched him do all the work and then he flew down and started dropping the nuts on the ground! The little squirrel quickly decided to go find somewhere else to live... You know what? I considered what the crow had just done as something that a bully would do! Does being vain cause you to be a bully?

The story continues as a snake, an owl, and some bees came along, hoping to make their home in the big oak tree. Crow chased them all away!

Now Crow soon learned his lesson! You know how? Some human boys who were definitely bullies came along and started throwing rocks at him. 

When you learn what happens next, you'll realize that being vain is not being a bully, but it's not a good idea to think you are better than anybody else, either! Especially, when you almost lose your life! Crow discovers that he was wrong to exclude all the other animals of the forest and that there was plenty of space in that Oak tree for everyone. An exceptional story in sharing, friendship, and accepting those who are not like you.

Toole again presents a beautiful full-color story printed on a 7x10 paperback. The storybook is 24 pages, and the narrative is quite long, and is aimed at children in first through third grade. It is illustrated by Richa Kinra with the cover illustrative of the style of bright-colored details throughout. Kudos to the author and illustrator for a book just big enough to be held in small hands and read while gazing at the delightful forest animals...

Do check this one out for age-appropriated children, although if you are a parent or grandparent who reads to small children, I think many younger than school age would like to hear the story as well...


Anne Toole grew up in Williston, South Carolina. She is a graduate of Anderson Jr. College in Anderson, South Carolina and the University of Georgia with a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education. She taught in a first grade classroom in Augusta, Georgia for thirty years. Ms. Toole has always enjoyed reading and writing poetry. As a child, she loved to listen to nursery rhymes and stories written in rhyme. When she became a teacher, she used nursery rhymes and simple poems in her class to enhance the regular Language Arts curriculum. After retiring, Ms. Toole worked part-time for three years as an ESOL teacher and also began writing stories about children and animals. Most of the stories are written in verse. Ms. Toole is an avid traveler and has traveled extensively in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has also traveled in Northern Africa and the Middle East. She presently resides in Columbia, South Carolina.

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