The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together To Form a Natural Kingdom

Roaring Brook. Mar. 2021. 48p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250237071.
Gr 3-5–This title explains how trees communicate and collaborate in their environments. The text uses a combination of nonfiction prose and poetry to teach readers about the science, chemistry, and growth of trees. Lovely, soft illustrations that highlight a variety of trees around the world accompany the dense text, including Africa, the United States, and Canada. There is an abundance of interesting information about how trees “share” information between themselves and their environments. One of the strengths of this title is that Judge highlights different species of trees and describes each tree in the context of its habitat and its relation to other trees and animals within its environment. Each section indicates the species, location, and how this particular species relates to all trees. The research is thorough and the details are engaging. The illustrations capture the diversity of environments and beautifully highlight the connectivity of forests. Labeled diagrams spotlighting specifics from the main text are an added bonus. The poetry adds a wonderful lyrical quality to the text. The title concludes with additional background on each poem and how that poem reflects real-life science. There is also information on how fires impact trees, why it is important to care for our forests, and suggestions for action. A glossary, sources, and suggested websites are included.
VERDICT Wonderful illustrations and poetry highlight cutting-edge scientific information about how trees communicate and share information. Don’t leave this one behind.

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