From Greystone Books: "WINNER OF THE AAAS/SUBARU PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE BOOKS
BASED ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES
This interactive and illustrated book for kids aged 8-10 introduces the wonderful science of the forest through outdoor activities, quizzes, fun facts, photographs, and more!
Discover the secret life of trees with this nature and science book for kids: Can You Hear the Trees Talking? shares the mysteries and magic of the forest with young readers, revealing what trees feel, how they communicate, and the ways trees take care of their families. The author of The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben, tells kids about the forest internet, aphids who keep ants as pets, nature’s water filters, and more fascinating things that happen under the canopy.
Featuring simple activities kids can try on their own, along with quizzes, photographs, and more, Can You Hear the Trees Talking? covers a range of amazing topics including: :
How trees talk to each other (hint: through the wood wide web!)
How trees get sick, and how we can help them get better
This engaging and visually stunning book encourages at-home learning and fun as kids discover the wonder of the natural world outside their windows."
"Lush full-color photos and pictures create an immersive experience and the layout facilitates engaged, delighted learning. ...this book may prompt frequent family visits to, and a new appreciation for, neighborhood trees and local forests.”—Washington Parent
About the Author
Peter Wohlleben is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees and its follow-ups The Inner Life of Animals and The Secret Wisdom of Nature. He spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in Germany before leaving to put his ideas of ecology into practice. He now runs an environmentally friendly woodland in Germany, where he is working towards the return of primeval forests, as well as caring for both wild and domestic animals.
Wohlleben has been celebrated for his distinctive approach to writing about nature; he brings to life groundbreaking scientific research through his observations of nature and the animals he lives amongst.
While looking for a book from this author, I noticed that he'd written a children's book aimed at age 8-10, so I decided to see what it was like. The first thing I noticed was that he does not "talk down" to the reader, even though he does try to give simple comparisons that children may be able to relate to. That made me want to recommend it to our permie parents and grandparents. This would be a great book to use for guided walks in the woods or to take along if you're planning a vacation to a forested campground. It could easily be used for homeschooling.
Chapter 1 is about how trees work, covering the basics like breathing, drinking and staying upright, but also giving critical details such as how trees work with fungi and in cooperation with other trees.
Chapter 2 is about growing up in the forest. He starts with making babies, which slides into the concept of "Tree Grandparents" and how some trees grow up as parts of families with support from their mother, whereas some trees are more solitary. I particularly liked his description of how growing *fast* is not the healthier option and the outdated attitude of "survival of the fittest" isn't mentioned, but rather the cooperative nature of plants is highlighted.
That said, the next chapter is titled Friends and Enemies! He talks about tree defense systems from herbivores, insects and fungi. Then moves on to the many differences between trees, and identifies some top scoring trees in areas such as size and age.
Chapter 5 brings up the interconnection between trees and animals, mentioning mostly birds and insects, but really only the basics. It opens the subject up, but there is lots of room for expanding this topic particularly related to specific ecosystems that you might be visiting.
The book moves on to discuss some of the important things trees do for us, like making rain, cleaning water and cooling cities. But then it gets to something that I'm ashamed to say, I never thought of in regards to trees - light pollution! "Trees aren't that different, and when they grow next to streetlights, they don't grow to be very old." I've felt for a long time that humans would be better off with much less light at night, and it's great that the author has introduced this concept to young humans as I was over 30 before I ever heard the term "light pollution".
Chapter 7 covers the special things that happen during the 4 seasons. Typical of his style of practical descriptions of complex concepts, the author describes how deciduous trees fill their leaves with waste before dropping them in the fall, the way humans go to the toilet. He also mentions that trees that start from seeds in the forest are better able to cope with winter storms than transplants - another principle that permaculture people try to follow.
So overall, this is a wonderful book for adults and children to read together, and contains plenty of information on its own, but also can act as a springboard to other subjects and further studies and readings. It's a book that I wish was in every public and school library, as it can be used to explore a single city tree or an entire forest ecosystem. And it's not just for kids! My friend who just turned 70 picked it up off my table and learned several new things in just the first 2 Chapters.