A romantic, even reverential, introduction to our American woodlands, this has more than enough substantial information to justify the mood. Anne Ophelia Dowden's paintings, last seen in her Wild Green Things in the City (KR, 1972), are impeccably handsome and accurate, almost hypnotic in their quiet precision. And, though her language is awe-struck, she develops the concept of the tree as flowering plant in an entirely unforbidding way--giving us an uncommonly clear picture of the tree's inner structure, moving easily through the varieties of fertilization by wind and insects in a way that relates specific flower structures to their functions, and ending with a brief discussion of geographical distribution. This elegantly made book will have immediate appeal for adults. However, its value for teaching young people shouldn't be overlooked, as it mixes theory, concrete observation and enjoyment with the serendipity that many more practical looking surveys never achieve.