Isla’s Family Tree

Isla’s Family Tree, written by Katrina McKelvey & illustrated by Prue Pittock, EK Books 2020

This book takes a fun hands-on approach to a perennial topic – introducing an older sibling to a new brother or sister, or in this case, twin brothers. Isla is not happy about the big changes that are coming, so her mother lovingly explains that “families are like trees.” She helps Isla construct their family tree with paper and scissors, and they revisit family memories as they add leaves to each branch. When Isla gets to her own branch, the tree looks full, and Isla is not happy about having to find a way to add two new leaves her branch. She tries adding them to one of the other branches instead. Maybe the twins can live with one of her Aunties. But once she meets the babies and holds them in her arms, Isla’s heart fills with love and she realizes that “family trees keep growing and changing as families do.”

The illustrations are cute and have a cartoon-like quality with lots of negative space that highlights the most important parts of the story. Isla’s family is also refreshingly diverse. One branch has two moms, and one has an adopted child, though neither of these things are explicitly stated. They are just naturally integrated into the stories Isla remembers and the illustrations in the book.

This one is also kid approved. My 4-year-old especially liked it and asked to read it over and over again.

*Note: I was gifted a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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