Peter and the Tree Children

Greystone. Apr. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771644570.
Gr 2-5–Piet the squirrel has no family. When his human friend Peter mentions that beech trees have families (i.e. adult trees disperse offpsring and grow in groups), Piet becomes so curious that they set out into the forest to find them. On the way, Peter and Piet observe commercial foresters and smaller operations adversely affecting the environment; they eventually discover a grove of beech trees thriving despite the destruction around them. When the two friends return to Peter’s home, Piet is sad that everyone seems to have a family except him; Peter quickly proposes that Piet stay with him so that they can become their own family. This book is a beautiful reminder of the importance of preserving natural forests and landscapes for the benefit of all the creatures who live there. Rich, striking illustrations are delightful, presented in the deep greens and browns of the forest. Together, the text and images create a story that is emotionally engaging, encouraging readers to preserve their outdoor spaces. The final page goes into more depth about tree facts.
VERDICT Schools may want to integrate this important book into their collections, especially in preparation for Earth Day.

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