A Forest in the City

Groundwood. (ThinkCities: Bk. 1). May 2020. 40p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781773061429.
Gr 4-6–The trees that make cities cleaner and more beautiful are often placed under unbearable stress. This nonfiction picture book explains the bounties of the urban forest and the many problems that threaten a tree’s survival. Climate change, poor soil, drought, heat, and dogs all pose hazards to trees. Many city trees cannot live longer than seven years. The book begins with a bird’s eye view of a city full of trees and then shows the interconnected root systems, the benefits of planting appropriate trees, and the care needed for long-term maintenance. Watercolor illustrations enhance the informative text. Curtis provides a short history of trees as necessary parts of ever-growing cities, describes the diseases and blights affecting them over time, and offers a clear explanation of the complexity of urban forests. A short glossary, websites, and books are listed. A list of activities to bring recognition to the role of trees for the future of cities and its inhabitants is mentioned.
VERDICT The vital importance of the urban forest in relation to the welfare of city dwellers is presented with interesting information and lush illustrations. Useful for reports, projects, and classroom activities.

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