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Picture Book about Kindness: THE TOGETHER TREE Book Review

Updated: May 17, 2023

Rumi joined Ms. Garaza's class on the first warm day of spring. Icicles melted from the trees. Water dripped from the eaves. Droplets trailed down the windows.


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on THE TOGETHER TREE by Aisha Saeed and LeUyen Pham Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!





About The Book:

Title: THE TOGETHER TREE

Author: Aisha Saeed and LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)

Pub. Date: May 30, 2023

Publisher: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 40


All Are Welcome meets Be Kind in this poignant and accessible picture book about the power every bystander—no matter how small—has to extend kindness and stand up in the face of intolerance. At his new school, quiet Rumi feels small and unwelcome, and a few kids bully him for his brown skin and bright shoes. He finds refuge beneath the old willow tree by the playground and builds his own world of hope and dreams of belonging. One day, when Rumi is made a target again, one of his classmates bravely steps in to defend him. It’s in that moment of solidarity Rumi’s class finally realizes that under the shade of the willow tree, all are welcome, and they create a space they can all play in—together.


 

My Review:


I give THE TOGETHER TREE ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!


What a delightful story of kindness and showing tolerance for those who are different from you. The story begins with our main character Rumi being introduced for the first time to his classmates. I love how the author uses the imagery of rain and melting ice to show us how Rumi is feeling; anxious and uncertain.

As what sometimes happens, his classmates just don't know what to think of Rumi. At recess, he goes off on his own under a willow tree and sits. Unfortunately, some of the kids make fun of his clothing and shoes.

The day goes on and Rumi isn't really having a good first day at school. Finally, some children go see what he's doing under that willow tree. To their surprise, there is a beautiful world that Rumi is drawing in the dirt with a stick. I love this illustration the best. The illustrator does a wonderful job creating the image of Rumi and his drawing.

I will end my review with the final pages of THE TOGETHER TREE, where all the children come together to draw with Rumi under the willow tree. This is a lovely picture book and I highly recommend this book for all children. It will teach them how to be kind and how to be accepting of others who are different than them. A wonderful addition to any children's library, school, or teacher's classroom.

 

About Aisha Saeed:

Aisha Saeed is the author of Written in the Stars, which was listed as the Best Book of 2015 by Bank Street Books, a 2016 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and named one of the Top Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read in 2016. She is also the author of the middle-grade novel Amal Unbound, which has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews and is a Global Read Aloud for 2018. Her other picture books include Bilal Cooks Daal and The Together Tree. Aisha is a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books. She has been featured on MTV, HuffPost, NBC, and the BBC, and her writings have appeared in publications including the journal ALAN and the Orlando Sentinel.



About LeUyen Pham:

LeUyen Pham has illustrated over fifty books, including board books, picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels. Her work has been recognized with numerous honors, including the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles Bronze Medal in the Children’s Book category, and Best Books of the Year lists in publications such as Kirkus Reviews, The Horn Book Magazine, and Comic Book Resources. She is also a New York Times bestseller for Grace for President, written by Kelly DiPucchio; Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully, written by Julianne Moore; and Princess in Black, written by Shannon and Dean Hale. Born in Vietnam, LeUyen came to the United States at the end of the Vietnam War when she was only two. She studied illustration at The Art Center College of Design, and for a short period of time worked at DreamWorks Animation as a layout artist before turning to illustration full-time. She lives with her husband (who is also an artist) and two sons in Los Angeles. Visit her online at LeUyenPham.com.



Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE TOGETHER TREE, US Only.

It ends May 31st, midnight EST.



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