Tuesday Book Review: “The Crow and the Big Oak Tree”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

anne toole the crow and the big oak tree

The Crow and the Big Oak Tree

by Anne Toole

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478776482


Once there was a big crow that thought he was the most wonderful animal in the forest! He didn’t like the other animals because they were so different from him. He thought he should have his own tree. He didn’t want the other animals in it. One day something bad happened to the crow. Read the story to find out what valuable lessons the crow learned. Did these lessons make him think differently about the other animals living in the forest?

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review:

“The Crow and the Big Oak Tree” tells a fable that has very important teaching messages of justifications for tolerance and celebration of differences for young readers today. With its clean, energetic illustrations and opposite page paragraphs format, “The Crow and the Big Oak Tree” tells the story of a large black crow who chose not to share hi preferred oak tree with other creatures, even birds, who were different from him. He succeeds in driving away a squirrel, a snake, an owl, honeybees, and many other little birds from his oak tree, even though they all pointed out to him it was not his oak tree.
Then one day the crow was subjected to an attack by some mean boys who decided to throw stones at him to stun him, then capture him. The crow was hit and stunned, falling to the ground. Imagine the crows amazement when the swarm of bees and their queen came to his rescue! They stung the boys and the queen spoke to the crow: “You are right about one thing. We are different from one another. But we are also alike. We all contribute to this world in one way or another. We don’t have to be alike to live peacefully together to survive in the forest. And sometimes in order to survive, we may have to help each other out. We all just need to accept each other as we are and all the different things we do. We also must make an effort to get along with one another.”
The crow thought long and hard about this and ultimately decided to let the honeybees to return to live in his oak tree. Gradually the crow also decided to allow the other creatures who were not like him to return to live in or near the oak tree. The final note is one of expanded appreciation: “Maybe in time, as the animals get to know one another better, they may find that they may find that they are more alike than different from each other and may elementally begin to like one another. But for the time being, they are all living peacefully in that big oak tree in the middle of the forest.”
Written to appeal to readers in grades 1 through 3, “The Crow and the Big Oak Tree” carries an important message of tolerance of differences for all beings.

reviewed on the Picture Book shelf of Midwest Book Review


Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

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 7×10 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…

– Amazon Reviewer Glenda


First off, I loved the illustrations. They were so vivid and went along with the story. A big black crow though he was just “IT”, so very fine. He thinks he is above all the other animals. He decides that a certain tree is just as perfect as he is and that tree was HIS and no other animal could come up that tree. Some animals were scared away by the crow when they tried to settle and make their homes there. It was the black crow’s and he wasn’t going to share. Two boys wanted to catch the crow and make a pet of it. They throw rocks at it and then some bees attack the boys. The boys run in fear. This little episode caused the crow to realize he needed friends and it wouldn’t hurt for him to share his home. A lesson learned. We all need friends and we all need to share. Another lesson to learn, it’s not good to think you’re better than everyone else. So much for young readers to learn but in a fun way. Great book for the young reader to have on his or her bookshelf. Wonderful lessons in a fun way.

– Amazon Reviewer gayle pace

tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor


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