IT STARTS WITH A SEED

Countryfile Magazine - - Lazy Days - Rachael Stiles

It’s never too soon to start getting chil­dren en­thu­si­as­tic about na­ture. Through charm­ing, gen­tle rhyme and lovely il­lus­tra­tion, this story of how a tiny sycamore seed be­comes a mag­nif­i­cent tree will surely start weav­ing its magic in young minds. It’s a gen­uinely de­light­ful book about the life cy­cle of a tree, and of the an­i­mals that rely on it for their liveli­hood and shel­ter.

Chil­dren can spot a plethora of wildlife in its leaves, on the ground, and bur­row­ing be­neath its roots through the sea­sons – all the usual sus­pects are here: foxes, rab­bits, birds, but­ter­flies.

The use of the word ‘ar­bo­real’ in the text, by far the trick­i­est word here, re­flects the book’s fac­tual re­al­ism – it doesn’t pa­tro­n­ise while ex­plain­ing the tree’s im­por­tance within our del­i­cate ecosys­tem to its young read­ers.

This book is a treasure for bud­ding nat­u­ral­ists, and one that grown-ups won’t tire of end­lessly re-read­ing.

WRIT­TEN BY LAURA KNOWLES, IL­LUS­TRATED BY JENNIE WEBBER

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