It Is a Tree

Holiday House. Apr. 2020. 32p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780823445318.
PreS-Gr 1–A jungle version of the Indian parable of “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” in which six blind men each feel a different part of an elephant and come up with six different opinions of what it is. This version replaces the blind men with blindfolded jungle animals playing a game at a lion cub’s birthday party. The lion cub thinks that the elephant is a tree; Giraffe, a wall; Hippo, a snake; Crocodile, a fan; Zebra, a rope; and Armadillo, a pipe. In a two-page spread, Batori amusingly depicts the elephant using all those elements as the still blindfolded animals smile and wave, each sure they are correct. The final spread shows the surprised but pleased animals riding Elephant while the laughing parents of the lion cub look on. The illustrations tell as much of the story as the spare text, if not more, with humor and skill. Batori’s use of speech bubbles, superb facial expressions (especially for Elephant), ample white space, and appropriate colors make the text and concept easy to understand.
VERDICT This fun and efficient read pairs excellent cartoon illustrations with simple text for a splendid retelling of a classic fable. Great for storytime or individual sharing or as a catalyst for discussion about perspective and point of view.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing