The Forest in the Trees

Arbordale. Aug. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781643513508.
PreS-Gr 3–McLennan, using a cumulative text format, explores the canopy of coast redwoods in northern California and southern Oregon. These sprawling environments have their own ecosystems and are alive with flora and fauna that often differ from what resides at ground level. Each spread describes a unique aspect of the tree canopy that is sometimes 250 feet in the air, and only recently (the late 1990s) explored by scientists. Amphibian and insect life includes certain kinds of salamanders and bugs that spend most of their lives in the trees. Extensive ferns grow almost exclusively in the canopy. While the text is rhythmic and predictable, it doesn’t necessarily rhyme and sometimes feels like a free verse poem. Detailed insets explain how the many parts of the canopy are interconnected and show the organisms’ reliance on one another. The illustrations fill the page and offer varying perspectives of the forest, sometimes from the ground and sometimes from afar. Many offer a closer inspection of the canopy with detailed artwork of lichens or small insects.
VERDICT An engaging read-aloud, peppered with plenty of facts for the scientists in the crowd.

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