“Do you like to climb trees, sit under their shady branches on a hot summer’s day, eat apples and peaches, read books or watch birds?”
The conversational—but never condescending—text goes on to say that a “yes” to any of those questions shows that trees are already an important part of the reader’s life. It then goes on to mention a few more of the roles trees play in the United States and Canada, which are “two of the most forested countries in the world,” and to invite readers to learn more in the following pages. From the colorful, stylized cover art that shows various trees in different seasons through the simple—but not oversimplified—explanations of photosynthesis, pollination, and more to the pages that offer silhouettes of trees and leaves alongside tips for “Beginner Tree-Watching,” this book gently funnels readers into deeper understanding and appreciation. The layout offers a variety of formats, interspersing large-lettered headings and subheadings with well-leaded, oversized text and bright watercolors that are easy to interpret. The page titled “Trees in Summer” is probably the wordiest; it is made nonthreatening through the smooth introduction of vocabulary and the easily understood diagram of a peeled-away tree trunk. Childlike images of animals, especially bees, will further charm readers into becoming conservationists by the time the text exhorts them to do so.
A cogent, jauntily illustrated primer. (glossary, index) (Informational picture book. 7-10)