Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Sequoia Lives On By Joanna Cooke


The Sequoia Lives On
By Joanna Cooke; Illustrated by Fiona Hsieh
Yosemite Conservancy. 2018
All ages

The publisher sent me a copy of this book to review

Cooke pays tribute to the magnificent sequoia tree in this informational picture book with an engaging narrative that explains the sequoia’s life cycle. 

To sprout their seeds, a sequoia relies on fire to dry out its scaly cone. Once opened, the seeds float towards fertile ground. “When fire is absent in a sequoia grove, the seeds rely on other help.” From the furry chickarees to the long-horned beetle, each does their part to help spread the tree’s seeds.

The comparison of everyday things will help young readers’ visual what is being explained in the text. 

“Each day, a large sequoia’s roots absorb enough water to fill more than eight bathtubs.”

“With enough sunlight, air, and water, a mighty sequoia can live more than thirty human lifetimes. Imagine a sequoia so old and so huge not even a ring of twenty children holding hands could hug it.”

Even after a sequoia becomes old and falls to the ground, it is still working by feeding new seedlings as it decomposes.

Perfectly complementing the text are Hesieh’s lush paintings that seem to glow.

Another aspect of the book that is appealing is the addition of children, of different races and one in a wheelchair, are placed throughout the book giving a perspective of the height of the giant sequoia. 


Back matter includes more facts about the Sequoia and tips on being mindful of what you leave behind when visiting a sequoia grove.

Published by the Yosemite Company, The Sequoia Lives On will enlighten those all who read it.


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