Children’s Book Review: The Wisdom of Trees

How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom.

Book review by Andrea Koehle Jones, author, children’s environmental education advocate and founder of The ChariTree Foundation. (March 3, 2021)

The Wisdom of Trees
The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom

by Lita Judge

“I am a single beech, but I am not alone.”

Forest ecologists have recently discovered the ground-breaking secret language of trees. Now young readers can too!

If you have ever spent much time in a forest, you know trees are much more than they seem. Beautifully illustrated and brimming with the latest tree science, The Wisdom of Trees by Lita Judge is deep exploration into the social networks trees create to help each other, and the world. I was immediately drawn to this book because the theme of my children’s fiction projects is mostly about the recently discovered secret world of trees. I am so happy to see this topic gaining popularity in children’s books. Kids need more books like The Wisdom of Trees.

A sketch and final image from THE WISDOM OF TREES by Lita Judge.

The Wisdom of Trees imagines what trees are saying, if only we could slow down, adopt the pace of nature, and tune into the language of trees. I hope children (and adults) everywhere will have a chance to explore this fascinating book.

By blending nonfiction with poetry and gorgeously detailed illustrations, young readers learn lots about trees. For example, how trees protect themselves from predators by releasing chemicals. When one tree is hungry or sick, other trees can deliver nutrients through an intricate system of roots. Poetry on each page represents the voice of the trees, calling out to us in language both familiar and strange, asking us to protect them as they protect those in their forest family and teaching us to be better stewards of our planet.

The story of a tree is a story of community, communication, and cooperation. Although trees may seem like silent, independent organisms, they form a network buzzing with life: they talk, share food, raise their young, and offer protection. Trees thrive on diversity, learn from their ancestors, and give back to their communities. Trees not only sustain life on our planet―they can also teach us important lessons about patience, survival, and teamwork.

I love trees and I love this tree book!

“We clean the air and seed the clouds, we drench the thirsty land with rain. We are like wizards.”

Themes explored:

  • the forest is a social network
  • tree communication, connectivity and cooperation
  • tree protection and conservation
  • compassion for trees

????? 5/5?


About the Author

Lita Judge is the author and illustrator of several award-winning picture books for young readers. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, with her husband, two cats, a parrot and presumably many trees. Watch this video to learn more about Lita and The Wisdom of Trees.

Title: The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom
Author/Illustrator: Lita Judge
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; Illustrated edition (March 2 2021)
Publication Date: 3 November 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1250237071
For ages: 6-10+
Type: Non-fiction picture book (Available tree-free on Kindle)

All environmental children’s book reviews by Andrea Koehle Jones.

Andrea receives review copies from publishers and authors from time to time, with no implied promise that the books will be reviewed favourably or at all.