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BEHOLD THE TREES by Sue Alexander


by Sue Alexander & illustrated by Leonid Gore

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-590-76211-7
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

“Oak and almond, fig and olive, terebinth and palm, acacia and pomegranate, willow and tamarisk . . .” In stately prose, Alexander (One More Time, Mama, 1999, etc.) chronicles the gradual destruction of the once-widespread forests of Canaan, and pays tribute to modern efforts to replant them. Gore (Lucy Dove, 1998, etc.) uses ghostly, half-seen images for semiabstract illustrations in which trunks and tree limbs blend with faces, buildings, and—reflecting the area’s turbulent history—hands brandishing weapons. The book is sumptuously produced and the author mentions the Israeli Arbor Day, Tu B’Shevat, in an afterword. Outside of the acknowledgements, there is no mention of the many non-Jews who have contributed to the reforestation project over the decades, nor of the Jewish National Fund, which has organized it. Longer on inspiration than helpful information, this, like Neil Waldman’s The Never-Ending Greenness (1997), may stimulate interest in young readers, but doesn’t take the next step. Timeline appended. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)