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BE A FRIEND TO TREES by Patricia Lauber


by Patricia Lauber & illustrated by Holly Keller

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1994
ISBN: 0-06-021528-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

``Trees are nice [and] also useful,'' begins the noted science writer, summing up the concepts introduced here. Pointing out the many ordinary objects made from wood or, less obviously, tree products (rubber, turpentine, fruit, paper), she goes on to trees' role in animal habitats and the larger environment, including photosynthesis as an important part of a cycle on which we all depend. The simple yet precise text ends with ways to ``Be a Friend to Trees''. Unfortunately, Keller's illustrations, while bright and attractive, are less precise; especially where tree species are labeled, it's a shame to misrepresent them visually. Misshapen birch trunks or vaguely depicted leaves are fine in the picture book stories at which Keller excels, but they're inappropriate in a science book, no matter how young the audience. Still, the lucid text will make this useful; and creative teachers could make a project of comparing real trees with the art. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-8)