Tree Hole Homes
Daytime Dens and Nighttime Nooks
Take a peek into the hidden world inside a tree in this charming nonfiction exploration of creatures that depend on trees for shelter, by day and by night. Whether tree holes are big or small, built by birds or created by wind or lightning, they house an astonishing assortment of wildlife, from black bears and tree frogs to crabs and bobcats. This inviting introduction to a woodland wonder is sure to delight curious kids.
Honors and Awards
Colby Sharp’s Favorite Books of 2022
Harvard Bookstore Gift Ideas for Young Kids list
Junior Library Guild Selection
Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Finalist
NPR Science Friday radio show feature
Nonfiction Detectives Best STEM Books for Kids
Politics and Prose Bookstore 2022 Children and Teens Favorites
“Stewart asks children to imagine approaching a towering tree with a hole in its trunk that’s large enough for them to slip inside. What if they lived there? How would it feel? This picture book introduces 15 animals living in tree holes that they have either found or made for themselves and their young. Hevron’s stylized illustrations—digital collages of acrylics and markers on wood—depict the critters and their homes using a limited but effective range of colors. A useful addition to classroom units on animal homes.”
—School Library Journal
“Thinking outside the nest, here’s a gallery of arboreal residents, from tree frogs to birds and bobcats. Stewart invites readers to join her in visualizing some of the animal residents known to use hollowed-out spaces in tree trunks and imagining what such a home would be like… Hevron creates intimate close-ups of stylized but easily recognizable creatures peering out or in cross-sectional views nestling down… A lofty mix of nature facts and rumination.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A beautifully written and illustrated picture book about tree holes and the creatures who inhabit them. The unique illustrations bring the text to life!”

—KIDS Bookshelf
Behind the Book
“The idea for this book traces all the way back to the summer between third and fourth grade, when I read My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Oh, how I longed to live off the land and make a hollow tree my home, just like the main character, Sam.
“Time passed, and I forgot about the book until a trip to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, in 2011. The instant I spotted a tree with a hole big enough for me to squeeze inside, Sam’s story came rushing back. And as I stood inside and looked up into the hollow tree, I knew I’d write a book about tree hole homes.
“I created a file on my computer and added information from my nature journals. Whenever I read or heard anything about tree holes or animals that live in them, I added more notes to the file. Eventually, I knew I had enough information, but I didn’t know how to structure the book or how it should begin or end. I was stuck.
“But then in 2018, while hiking in Topsfield, Massachusetts, I stumbled upon another large tree hole. As I awoke the next morning, the beginning of the book popped into my mind.
“I ran to my office, and as I wrote it down, the ‘opposites’ text structure came to me. Using index cards and sticky notes, I mapped out the book in just a few days. Then it was time to start writing.”
Tree Hole Homes
by Melissa Stewart
illus by Amy Hevron
Random House Studio, 2022
for ages 5 to 9
ISBN 978-0-59337-330-9
Purchase this book at your local independent bookseller or
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