Isla's Family Tree by Katrina McKelvey
Isla isn't happy that her family is changing, so her mother creates a clever family tree with Isla to teach her that families always grow.
Her mother hands her two leaves, but Isla doesn't think they belong. She tries to make them fit somewhere else - her cousins, or Aunt Violet's and Aunt Jasmine's house - there's definitely no room at her house.
But when Isla meets her new brothers she has a change of heart. She falls in love with them and finds room for them after all.
Isla's Family Tree is a sweet little book perfect for any family needing to find a way to introduce a new family member, or two! It explores important issues around familial change and acceptance, while also showing children how they belong.
Author Katrina McKelvey has also been sure to offer glimpses of diverse families, including adopted cousins and same-sex couples.
The story is sweet and simple, but McKelvey doesn't talk down to the reader - nor does she allow the adult characters in the story too. She allows Isla to come to her own conclusions, supported by those that love her.
Illustrator Prue Pittock uses simple yet detailed drawings to convey the story. The striking colour palette is refreshing, with black and white drawings accentuated with splashes of bright pink and orange.
Isla's Family Tree is a sweet story about change, love and family. It is a wonderful book for helping little people understand change and accept that there are no rules about what a family looks like in a forest full of family trees.
Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell
EK Books, RRP $24.99