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Book Review: Tree Beings

Author/Illustrator: Raymond Huber & Sandra Severgnini Foreword: Jane Goodall

In Jane Goodall’s foreword of this book she said she must often say ‘no’ when asked to write forewords, but with this one she “…could not resist the opportunity to endorse the book…”.

And after reading this book myself, I can see why.

Whether you have a great love of trees or just an everyday relationship with them, this book will touch your heart and surely be enjoyed by all ages.

The first thing about this beautiful book is the illustrations. They are detailed and fine and include all types of living creatures hidden among the pages, as well as colourful and natural tree and plant drawings. There are mazes and puzzles to explore and listed in the back of the book are the names of all the animals hidden in the illustrations. How many insects can you find within the pictures?

As you move deeper into the pages, you will find the book is divided into 4 ‘Big Ideas’. Big Idea 1 is a fabulous and inspiring read for young and old and anyone in between. There are inspirational stories and accounts of the amazing work and dedication to saving trees and animals. Julia Butterfly Hill lived up a 60-metre-tall tree for 2 years as she set herself in to protect them from chainsaws! Jane Goodall lived in the rainforest for years and changed how people treat all that live there.

The book asks you to imagine you were there, and as you read the stories, you certainly could do just that.

As well as the personal stories by famous people who worked to save trees and life is the explanation of how trees give life to the Earth. Included is a scientific account of how they pull water from the ground, use sunlight and how the water vapour from forests create clouds and more rain. The gentle way this information is presented holds the attention and arouses curiosity in children.

The other Big Ideas are ‘Trees can save us’, ‘Trees are like beings’ and ‘Trees need our help’, with each of these big ideas spanning pages with information and activities and even more interesting stories. A nine-year-boy had a plan to plant a trillion trees, a young woman in India rounded up women from her village to save trees from loggers, the wolves in Scotland disappeared after the forests were destroyed.

Tree Beings is the winner of The Wilderness Society’s Environmental Award for Children’s Literature in the nonfiction category.

The images in this article have been supplied by HEA partner EK Books. The review has been written by Lynette Kulow, HEA member. Her opinions are her own.

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