Little Tree and the Wood Wide Web

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Pub Date 5 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 25 Jul 2023

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*2024 Giverny Award Winner*

Have you ever wondered if trees can communicate with each other?
Well they can. Recently, scientists have discovered that forests communicate via underground networks of fungal threads knows as 'the wood wide web'. 

In this picture book for young children, we meet a little fir tree sapling who is stretching her first leaves into a dark ancient forest full of huge trees. She feels very lonely and she can't reach any light or water. Her worried feeling sinks down to the tips of her roots, which little does she know, are connected to the wood wide web. The fungal network sends her message all over the forest! "little tree needs help!"

The message reaches mother trees who can't spare the energy from their own little ones, others who are sick and can't help but ultimately, one friendly paper birch tree helps her in her time of need. When the winter comes and birch tree needs help in return, the strong, not so little fir tree withe her evergreen leaves can come to the rescue. Our little tree learns that she is part of a loving, caring community, filled with family and kind strangers of entirely different species. 

She learns all the ways that there are to care and be cared for, and most importantly that she is not alone. After all, the forest is only as strong as its smallest tree. 

Trees can communicate using up to '50 words' and can send messages of distress, warn each other about incoming danger in the form of disease or pests, learn which trees are their parents and which are their offspring. If a tree is in danger, others can send spare sugars and water via the network and even sabotage trees they see as a threat. And they do it all via the wood wide web. 

This is a powerful book, that teaches children about a hugely important discovery in contemporary science, about a secret world beneath our feet and most importantly, about the strength that comes with asking for help, and discovering that you are not alone. 

*2024 Giverny Award Winner*

Have you ever wondered if trees can communicate with each other?
Well they can. Recently, scientists have discovered that forests communicate via underground networks of...

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ISBN 9780711284876
PRICE US$21.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 27 members

Featured Reviews

I received ARC of “Little Tree and the Wood Wide Web” from NetGalley and Quarto Publishing/Ivy Kids in exchange for an honest review.

This picture book, written by Lucy Brownridge and illustrated by Hannah Abbo, is really educational. The author based the idea for this book on Dr. Suzanne Simard’s discovery of the Wood Wide Web. As a Professor of Forest Ecology in Canada and author of “Finding the Mother Tree,” Simard discovered that mycorrhizal fungus in forests, and particularly among trees like the Douglas Fir and the Paper Birch, were able to communicate and share resources like sugar energy and water

Brownridge is able to communicate this very exciting (and also very difficult concept) to small children through the use of language that is easy for them to comprehend. Abbo did a fantastic job and was likewise able to convey important messages to children via her art. For example, when Little Tree (an immature Douglas Fir) needed both light and water, she sent out a distress signal through the fungi and the artist made this signal appear as tears.

The author and artist duo clearly show how interspecies cooperation helps forests to flourish. However, this story can also be used to inspire kids (and adults!) to help others in times of need. In addition to the text, the author did an excellent job of including a glossary and also an ‘Inspired by the True Story’ section at the end of the book so that young readers can learn more about the subject.

This well-written and beautifully illustrated picture book will likely find its way onto numerous library shelves and, hopefully, on the personal bookshelves of children around the world. I highly recommend this book to all children and especially to those kids who are highly inquisitive about the natural world.

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This lovely little picturebook tells a story from the perspective of a young fir tree, and uses its sweet story to teach children about the ways a forest is interconnected through a web of fungus. The imagery is artful and the story both poignant and educational.

Thank you Lucy Brownridge, NetGalley, and Quarto Publishing Group – Ivy Kids, Ivy Kids Eco for providing this ARC for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.

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4.5 stars

Woo… another wonderful book from my favorite kiddo publishers. This one deals with how the trees in a forest are connected through their root system and communicate with each other. The trees share resources, support, and help each other all through their lives (which spans decades).
Here, we have a little Douglas fir struggling to grow in a dense forest. Without enough rainwater or sunlight, the little one has to make do with what it has. However, when it cries for help, the message is spread across the forest, and the paper birch sends help. Later, when the time comes, the little tree returns the favor.
The book explains the symbiotic relationship between different trees and other elements in nature (fungi, etc.) It presents the Wood Wide Web (fungal network) underneath the earth using a cute and inspiring story of talking trees. I love the presentation and the approach to the topic. I also love how the content is easy for kids to understand. The text is tiny but readable.
The illustrations are vibrant and bold. Personally, I love the sweeping shades and hues in multiple colors. The underground network looks really fab with a dark background. What I love the most is the expressions on the trees. Every tree has eyes, a nose, and a mouth (a simple line). So cute, right?
The book ends with a little glossary and more information about how the Wood Wide Web. This is my favorite quote:
“A forest is only as strong as its smallest, little tree.”

To summarize, Little Tree and the Wood Wide Web is a wonderful book to teach children about the marvels of nature and help them better appreciate the lessons about co-existing with each other and helping one another. The way to safeguard the environment is to learn how to live with nature. Take but make sure you give back too!
This book is printed on planet-friendly recycled paper.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Ivy Kids Eco and am voluntarily leaving a review.
#LittleTreeandtheWoodWideWeb #NetGalley
Links to GR and Amazon reviews will be updated later.

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This is the cutest thing I've ever seen! The illustrations are beautiful! I love the story and the science. I want to buy a copy for my little girls.

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Based on a true story, your young reader will learn about trees and how they work together and live. My daughter enjoyed reading this book as a middle elementary age. The author includes a glossary at the end to further help the reader learn.

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Wowza! Fascinating scientific facts delivered in a cute and relatable children's story. This is a great resource to teach children about the interconnectedness of trees. It is also a valuable tool for instilling environmental awareness in young readers.

Beautiful art. Beautiful story.

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This is an enchanting book all about the symbiotic relationships that trees have had for millennium and about how they each help take care of each other. The illustrations are whimsical and help the reader stay engaged! My daughter loved this story and told me it helped her to learn that it’s okay to ask for help and that it’s important to pass the help on when others need it. We loved this story and can’t wait to add the physical copy to our home library.

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This book was so cute and such a good story about helping others! There was also some fun tid bits about trees in the end. I also really enjoyed the illustrations in this one as well.

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A scientific expose on the Douglas Fir tree, revealing all about its stages from seedling to the tree. It tells of the first few years it struggles to survive and what constitutes its survival. An educative book that teaches kids all about trees and their survival.

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We're all interconnected, even trees. Although I've actually read a few things on this topic, it was interested to see this idea being set forth for children in such an interesting, easy to understant way. I couldn't help glancing out my own window and wondering what my spruce and birch trees might be talking about, so to speak, as I sat all nice and cozy in my warm home. I know I shed a tear or two when storm damage took down one of my majestic spruce trees, so I pondered what messages it may have been sending to its fellow trees as it ended its life.

I won't try to explain how trees communicate and collaborate since the author, a professor of Forest Ecology in Canada, does such an excellent job making it understandable to all ages. Well, okay, maybe with adult assistance for younger readers but you get my drift. Bottom line, a tree-in-need puts out a call through the web. No, not the World Wide web. The Wood Wide Web. It's all rather fascinating, actually.

More importantly, while teaching how trees communicate and help each other, Brownridge subtly sends the message of the importance of human interaction and collaboration. It's even noted that when Little Tree was finally healthy and able, she returned the favor Paper Birch did for her. It's all told with lovely illustrations, with what I'd dub saturated colors, darker than I'm used to in most children's books, showing the world in what appears to be the depths of a forest as well as the intertwined roots, ie web below.

There should be ample learning moments inspired by the illustrations alone. How are the trees shown alike and different? What sounds might you hear in the forest? What animals might live there? What animals/things do you spy as you look at the pictures....and many more. Thanks #NetGalley and #QuartoPublishingGroup - #IvyKids for taking me for a walk in the forest. We really are never alone, a good thing to remember.

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This picture book puts a fun perspective on how to care about others and how to be cared for. The little tree learns that when others help you that you grow and that you can also help others grow. The illustrations are fun and colorful for young children. Great read to help teach children how to love, care and how to be cared for. Thank you NetGalley, Quarto Publishing Group-Ivy Kids, and Lucy Brownridge for the ARC. I am leaving this review voluntarily and is my own opinion.
#netgalley, #littletreeandthewoodwideweb, #quartopublishinggroup-ivykids, #lucybrownridge, #love, #care

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This book has set a new bar for children's nature books.

Exploring the fungal network beneath the forest and how trees communicate with each, sending distress signals through the wood wide web.

Inspired by the incredible Suzanne Simard, this book is the most beautiful, educational children's nature book I have come across. It actually made me a bit emotional, knowing that kids can now grow up reading about one of the most important systems on our planet.

It is a gorgeously illustrated story of Little Tree who is struggling to grow in a crowded forest. Until the fungal network beneath it send his distress signals to all the other trees in the forest, letting them know Little Tree needs help.

It is a wonderfully executed, accessible resource introducing children to this hidden world beneath our feet.

Thank you to NetGalley & Quarto Publishing for this DRC

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I would first like to say, the illustration is absolutely stunning. Little Tree and the Wood Wide Web is an informative and educational book that’s easy to digest for children. It’s so interesting to learn how trees communicate amongst themselves and other plants/moss in their network. It’s cute, resourceful, and a valuable tool for raising environmental awareness. This just charmed my nature loving self. I hope it finds it’s way into so many school libraries.

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So cute and informative! Perfect for classroom projects. I'm definitely getting it for my students. My collection about trees will grow this year!

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What a great way to teach kids a bit about the interconnected nature of, ah, nature. "Little Tree and the Wood Wide Web" tells the story of one young tree struggling to put down its roots in a big forest—and the other trees that come to its aid through a network of woods and fungus. ('The Wood Wide Web' is wonderfully punny, but the book tells us that it was actually coined by Suzanne Simard, who is—I Googled—a professor of forest and conservation sciences at UBC.)

The illustrations are soothing and eye-catching, somehow managing to be both consistent and varied. I love the little faces in the trees, but my favorite spread by far is the one where Little Tree is sad at night; the colors in the leaves are really gorgeous.

Adults reading to children—get out your reading glasses, because the text is small. Worth it for the combination of story and science, though!

Thanks to the author and publisher for providing a review copy through NetGalley.

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This was very very cute and I'm so happy that the author went with the Wood Wide web! The whole concept of it is incredible, and a childrens book based on that is exactly what I would read to my own kids.
I found a few parts a little strangely worded, but that might just be on me as I don't usually read childrens books.
Overall though, I would highly recommend this one to any parent out there wanting to explain and immerse their kids with forests and nature.

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Little Tree and the Wood Wide Web is the real story of how trees communicate to each other and share resources through and underground network grown between them. It's the perfect read-aloud book to teach children about this concept of symbiotic relationships between trees. The story is well told, with artistic illustrations and sweet conversation bubbles. This is a perfect addition for any librarian or garden lover.

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