Isla isn’t happy that her family is changing, so her mother creates a clever family tree with Isla to teach her how to accept that families always grow. Her mother hands her two new leaves, but Isla doesn’t think they belong. “There’s no room left on our branch — it’s full!” she says. Isla tries to make them fit somewhere, maybe with her cousins, at Aunty Violet and Aunty Jasmine’s house, or at Aunty Daisy and Uncle Doug’s. There’s definitely no room on her branch though!
However, once she meets her new brothers she has a change of heart. She falls in love and finds room for them after all — “Our branch grew a little,” says Isla. “Our family is never too full.”
Isla’s Family Tree is the perfect book for any family needing to find a way to introduce new family members, or to show children how they belong in their own family. The book explores important issues surrounding familial change and acceptance, while also providing a glimpse into a diverse family. Including adopted cousins and same-sex couples, it highlights that every family is normal. There are no rules about what a family looks like in a forest full of family trees.
Katrina McKelvey is a children’s author with over ten years primary school teaching experience. She is highly involved in the Children’s Book Council of Australia, is an advisor and participant in literary conferences and festivals, and enthusiastically spreads her love of reading at regular school visits.
Prue Pittock studied art and design. She began her career working in advertising, which led to her dream job, illustrating and designing record covers for EMI Australia. Prue developed her own style and the love of a limited palette through mainly working in two colours.