The Magic and Mystery of Trees

DK. Mar. 2019. 80p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781465479365.
Gr 2-4–Trees are a hot topic right now, even when they’re not burning down. This book combines realistic art and photography with short bursts of explanatory text to create a catalog of all things trees. The art is beautiful and the text is interesting, but the author overlooks some facts and oversimplifies others. For example, it’s very useful to learn that healthy trees pass food onto their ailing neighbors, but it would be even better to find out how. Other statements seem more conjecture than based in hard facts and science. We don’t really know, for example, if every part of a tree is working “hard” to help it survive. It’s not completely accurate to say that a tree trunk is comparable to a human skeleton. And it’s not completely true that trees intentionally “work together” to moderate the forest climate. Still, each spread is inviting and visually interesting. The book promotes delight through inquiry.
VERDICT This inviting first look at trees begs for backup by other texts.

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