Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, March 11, 2019


Barbara Bash is an extraordinary artist and a good writer, which you will discover when sharing these four books with students. Sponsored by the Sierra Club, in Tree Tales, Bash highlights the interconnectivity of trees for all life on our planet.

Ancient Ones: the World of the Old-Growth Douglas Fir
Sierra Club Books. 1994
Takes readers to an old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest. We discover that the spotted salamanders, golden banana slugs, along with the red tree voles and flying squirrels, make their homes in giant Douglas firs.

Desert Giant: the World of the Saguaro Cactus
Little, Brown, and Company. 1989 
We travel to the American southwest where the Saguaro Cactus grows. "It's armlike branches can reach fifty feet into the air." Though one might think these giant cactus are devoid of life, appearances can be deceptive. "In fact, this tree of the desert is alive with activity. Gila woodpeckers and miniature elf owls make this their home."

In The Heart of the Village: the World of the Indian Banyan Tree
Sierra Club Books. 1996
To the people in India, the banyan tree is sacred. “It is home to their gods. For many generations, they have protected the tree and nourished its spirits with their offerings.” The tree provides food, shelter, and a communal resting place in a small village in India.

Tree of Life: the World of the African Baobab 
Little, Brown, and Company. 1989
When the rains come twice a year, the baobab tree comes to life, and the yellow-collared lovebird, the orange-bellied parrot, lilac-breasted roller, and yellow-billed hornbill, and others, make their homes in the tree where they raise their young.

The text for each book is written out in calligraphy by Bash and placed against the double-page spreads of her delicious watercolor illustrations in vibrant colors that reflect each environment explained in the narrative. Readers will learn about the variety of birds, insects, and animals, and humans that depend on these trees.

These books offer readers a better understanding of how important trees are to all creatures. The perfect informational book to display with Redwoods by Jason Chin and fiction titles: Ida B. and her plans to Maximize Fun and Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan, Operation Redwood by S. Terrill French, and The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor. 

To write this review I borrowed the books from my local public library.

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