Written and illustrated by Philip Bunting
Crown Books for Young Readers. 2023.
For tree lovers everywhere, The Gentle Genius of Trees, is an enlightening romp as to why, "we hairy humans have a pretty special relationship with trees."
As we take a stroll through the pages of this informational picture book, readers are introduced to the life of a tree. We all know that trees provide us with some pretty cool things. (Find out in the book). And, that trees turn carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen. But, there is a whole lot more about trees we don't know.
The book also contains a powerful life lesson. As forests need harmony so that all creatures and plant live life in harmony, so too must hairy humans. Find people who will support and look out for you, just as trees support birds, insects, and other life in the forest.
"When things get a bit rough, find the strength and flexibility to stay centered, and hold on." The accompanying illustration show a child holding on to a tree that is being blown sideways by a rough wind.
Australian author and artist, Buntings clever illustrations, done using collage, gouache, and digital painting, have some added humor with very funny speech bubbles, (How do you make an oak tree laugh? Tell it acorn-y joke) will keep young readers pouring over the pictures to be sure they don't miss a thing.
A word on the importance of tree conservation is also included.