cloth, 32 p., $16.95
Are Trees Alive? was written by author Debbie S. Miller in response to a question by her four-year-old daughter: "How do trees breathe without noses?" The book compares various features of trees with equivalent parts of the human body. For example, tree roots are compared to feet, leaves with noses and lungs. Vividly colored acrylic and gouache illustrations by Stacey Schuett show trees and children from around the world. Among the 13 trees appearing in the book are some exotic ones, such as the baobab tree of Africa, which has branches that look like roots, and the banyan tree of India, with its enormous crown. Notes at the end of the book provide more information on each of the illustrated trees.
This picture book does a good job of explaining how trees are living, functional organisms — just like people — in a colorful and interesting way. Three- to eight-year-olds will find it enjoyable and easy to understand.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden