Using comparisons to the human body, Miller describes the characteristics of trees. In simple but poetic terms, she compares the veins of a leaf to those in a person's hand. She tells readers that the tree trunk supports the tree as our legs support us, and that "Bark is dark or light, rough or smooth, thick or thin, just like people's skin." Children can travel the globe, examining common and unusual trees-a weeping willow in China, a baobab in Africa, Australia's ribbon gum, the paper birch of North America, India's banyan tree, etc. The vibrant acrylic-and-gouache illustrations are scientifically accurate and inviting, and the people depicted reflect the cultures of the trees' locations. Illustrated notes at the back of the book explain where they grow and their relative sizes and ages. The trees are also displayed on a map on the colorful endpapers. Team this unique title with such picture books as Cristina Kessler's My Great-Grandmother's Gourd (Orchard, 2000), Lynne Cherry's Great Kapok Tree (Harcourt, 1990), and Scott Sanders's Meeting Trees (National Geographic, 1997) for an informative unit or display about these plants.
Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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