The Crow and the Big Oak Tree, by Anne Toole ISBN 9781478776475
Five out of five stars
This book is about sharing space with others and features living creatures of all types, from birds to bees. Black Crow considers himself to be a magnificent creature, looking down on others. He has roosted in a large oak tree and considers it to be his personal domain.
When a squirrel wants to store his nuts in a hollow section of the tree, Black Crow throws the nuts out. A snake then tries to slither up the trunk, but Black Crow picks him up and scares him by flying high. Others types of birds, including an owl, try to nest in the tree, but Black Crow chases them away. The last creatures that try to make the tree their home is a collection of bees, Black Crow knocks their first hive down, but they are determined to live there. So they immediately start on another hive.
Two boys see Black Crow and decide to see if they can hit him with a rock. They are successful, stunning Black Crow and knocking him out of the sky. When the two boys run to capture Black Crow, the bees chase them away. Grateful and understanding the lesson that he has experienced, Black Crow now knows that it is best to let other creatures share his space. For he cannot predict when he may find their presence and skills valuable.
The lesson in this book is one that children need to learn, that cooperation and sharing are generally more beneficial than an attitude of superiority over others. It is an important lesson that will smooth their way through life. The book is written at roughly the level of the second grader and the images are colorful.