Tree Beings

by | Mar 11, 2021

Our March Book of the Month is Tree Beings. This special picture book is by Raymond Huber, a New Zealand author, and Sandra Severgnini, an illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. It includes a foreword penned by Dr Jane Goodall, a world-renowned English primatologist and anthropologist,

In this post, I share why I selected Tree Beings as our book of the month. Read on to learn more.

What is a tree being?

According to Huber and Severgnini, there are tree beings in our world. A tree being is a person who loves trees and see them as living. Tree Beings shares inspiring real-life stories of people who have devoted their lives to learn about and protecting trees. Included are the stories of Jane Goodall, Jane Butterfly Hill, an activist who lived up a redwood tree for two years to save it from loggers, Sir Richard St. Barbe Baker, a talented public speaker who advocated for trees, and the Chipko protesters of India, also known as the first tree huggers.

The beautifully crafted and illustrated book will help both children and adults reflect on their experiences with trees.  Now, after reading the book, I now consider myself a tree being. I grew up alongside a rainforest reserve on the Central Coast in NSW. As a child, trees were my life teacher. For example, I learnt about the seasons observing the liquidambar tree in my front yard. Learning about the seasons helped me understand the passage of time and change. Later, these formative experiences inspired my research as an anthropological archaeologist.  I worked at sacred places in the Peruvian Andes, which included trees. There I learnt that some communities are tree beings too. They believe trees and other aspects of nature are living beings.

Tree beings introduces readers to four crucial ideas that can help them understand just how important trees are to us. The book summarises well the role trees play in supporting life on earth and moderating the climate, while also exploring the meanings different cultures throughout time have ascribed to them. For these reasons, the book is an excellent book for children.

Become Friends with Trees

Another reason why I think Tree Beings is an essential read for children is that it encourages them to go outside and build genuine relationships with trees. The book includes activities, including how to start a nature journal, an essential tool of a tree being. It also provides links to supplementary materials and other educational websites. The book, therefore, would be a wonderful companion for educators and teachers, who are wanting to inspire their students to go outdoors and observe the world around them and then reflect on the personal and collective meanings of trees.

If you would like to take a look at the book, watch my flip through on YouTube. I thank EK Books, an imprint of Exisle Publishing, for granting me permission to do the review.

The book can be purchased from Amazon and Book Depository as well as independent publishers.

In celebration of Tree Beings, we will be exploring sacred trees around the world, starting with Ancient Egypt. I invite you to follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Meanwhile, if you are looking for additional nature-based activities, I invite you to check out my resources.

Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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