Pando: A Living Wonder of Trees

Capstone. Aug. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781684462773.
PreS-Gr 2–Beneath the surface of the Earth, one of the world’s largest living organisms is linked by a system of roots. Pando, an interconnected grove of quaking aspens in Utah, covers 106 acres and includes over 47,000 trees that are almost identical to one another. Despite centuries of growth, however, Pando is now threatened by humans and animals alike and may disappear unless strides are taken to ensure its survival. This educational picture book is presented in lyrical poetry, connecting readers to the beauty of the natural world through visual and auditory means. The primary text appears in short lines with ample white space and is balanced with elegant and vibrant illustrations. Additionally, the book includes small asides that provide insight into more of the science behind the story and complement the flowery language. Emotionally accessible, detailed illustrations depict the world of the aspen throughout each season of the year. These are filled with light, as the sun shines through the canopy to the ground beneath. Humans and animals are found coexisting with Pando, reinforcing the connection among all living things. Full-color photographs are introduced after the narrative to anchor readers in the natural space that inspired this book. At the end is a glossary, bibliography, and an invitation to make a positive difference in the natural world.
VERDICT This is an important story that will inspire young readers to learn more about the environment and their role within it.

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