Happy Book Birthday: THE BELONGING TREE Plus Double Giveaway

Hello dear readers. It’s pretty unbelievable that you are going to see me very often in the next two months. So many books are launching (which is a good thing) written and/or illustrated by my friends (which is a very good thing) that I just have to join in the celebrations!

And what a special celebration this is! Please join me in singing a glorious Happy Book Birthday to THE BELONGING TREE written by one of my dearest critique buddies, Maryann Cocca-Leffler and illustrated by Kristine A. Lombardi and published by Christy Ottaviano Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company.

Here’s a little snippet from Amazon:

The Belonging Tree is a thoughtful picture book about respect, inclusion, and acceptance in a woodland community of animals from writer Maryann Cocca-Leffler and illustrator Kristine A. Lombardi.

Life was ordinary in the big oak tree on Forest Lane. Squirrels lived in every part of the tree, and the Gray squirrel family inhabited the knot in the middle. But the neighborhood starts to change as the big oak tree welcomes families of chipmunks, beavers, and birds. And with each new arrival, the Grays become increasingly unhappy. Can’t everything remain just as it was?

It will take an unexpected moment of heroism from a thoughtful inhabitant to finally open hearts and bind together this diverse animal community.

Dear friends…this is totally the kind of book we need to be putting into the hands of children right now! And guess what? There’s going to be a virtual book launch tonight…and you can pre-order a signed copy of the book.

It’s a free event hosted by Maryann’s local Portland, Maine bookstore, PRINT, but you should register right at this link in order to get the Zoom link that will give you access to the event: https://www.printbookstore.com/event/leffler820

And before I close, let me share another little snippet with you. Dedications are a really special part of every book…and a lot of thought goes in to writing them. When I received my copy, I saw that Maryann had personally inscribed it to me…and that was lovely. But then I read the dedication that was printed in the book: To my former neighbors, forever friends, and talented critique buddies, Jill and Vivian.

Oh my gosh! To see your name in a dedication…that’s a pretty special thing.

I hope you will all tune in to the Zoom launch for THE BELONGING TREE. And I hope you order a copy of THE BELONGING TREE. And review the book. And leave a comment below to be entered in the DOUBLE giveaway – Maryann’s publisher is offering TWO copies of the book…so we will have TWO WINNERS! Why not share a time when you felt people went out of their way to make you feel like you belonged.

I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week.

19 thoughts on “Happy Book Birthday: THE BELONGING TREE Plus Double Giveaway

  1. What a gorgeous cover! And I agree, Vivian, that the subject is very timely. Off the top of my head, I’d say one time that someone went out of their way to help me feel like I belonged was at the Storymakers writers’ conference. They have a wonderful system set up where they pair new attendees with a more experienced conference attendee that helps answer questions beforehand and sits with you at meals. It was a great experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy Book Birthday! “The Belonging Tree” sounds like it has a great message for both children and parents alike, and such beautiful illustrations. The time that I vividly remember that I felt people went out of their way to welcome and make me feel that I belonged was when I started work at my current workplace. People were so kind and friendly and eager to reach out that I knew I had found the right place. I know I am so fortunate to have such great colleagues. It is awful when the opposite happens, which is why books like these are so important.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy Book Birthday! It looks wonderful. I’d say when I met my current in- person critique partners at a local SCBWI event, they made me feel welcome right away. Soon we had our critique going and I really felt like I belonged!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations! Beautiful book cover with a much needed message! Vivian, I was terrified when I entered your writing contest.Everyone seemed to know everyone, but you and the writing community welcomed me with open arms. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That makes me so happy to hear that, Jill! I felt the same way when I entered this kidlit community…with Julie Hedlund’s 12×12, Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo/Storystore, Carrie Charlie Brown and Kirsti Call’s ReFoReMo, Angie Karcher’s RhyPiBoMo/Rhyme Revolution…and every SCBWI conference I’ve ever gone to. I always feel there are so many people who go out of their way to make me feel comfortable!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with you, this book is important to get into readers hands with this message. When I visited my friend’s exercise center for the first time (pre-COVID days), she immediately greeted me and enthusiastically introduced me to the class and I felt so welcomed.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Happy Book Birthday! Mine happened over 30 years ago. I was a baby teacher with my first full time contract. I didn’t know anyone in the room. I felt so alone. Then someone came up. She introduced herself, Faith. She took me by the hand and introduced me to the teachers I’d be working with. It meant the world to me, and I’ve never forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

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