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The Tree in the Ancient Forest

The Tree in the Ancient Forest
Dana Lyons
Illumination Arts
Publication Date: 

cloth, [32] p., $16.95

The Tree is a book about caring for the environment, but especially about forests. Inspired by a song by the author, the sparse text, combined with David Danioth's powerful illustrations, brings to life the Pacific Rain Forest and the animals that live there.

The book notes that it's for ages 4 to adult, and therein lies the problem. The dramatic illustrations seem fine for older children and adults, but are pretty scary for young children. In particular, there's a picture of a grizzly bear clawing up a tree that could make anyone check under the bed at night.

The book looks like a children's book, but it makes me think of a wolf in sheep's clothing. It includes plenty of information aimed at adult readers, but it seems children are really not considered appropriately. While Jan Goodall and Pete Seeger gush about this story, I have definite reservations about it — as a children's story.

— Eileen Kelly Klehr, Volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden