Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon (Henry Holt & Co.)
Have you considered what might be the oldest, tallest, thickest, or most revered tree in the world? Which trees have served as memorials, a national shrine, a post office, a pub, or gone to the moon? You’ll find answers to these and questions you’ve never thought to ask in a book loaded with facts and whimsically illustrated with trees, animals, and children. The writer doesn’t simply use numbers to indicate a famous tree’s age or size, but suggest comparisons, which Rebecca Gibbons elaborates upon showing trees measured against dinosaurs, whales, skyscrapers, and the Statue of Liberty.
I loved learning about the tree Buddha was said to sit under while gaining enlightenment, several amazing Redwoods, and the hollow Major Oak in Sherwood Forest that can hold twelve people, though today “it performs a service as a miniature nature preserve, providing food and a place to hibernate for bats, queen wasps, butterflies, spiders, and dozens of insect species.” The book’s paper, which comes from “responsible sources,” is soft and off-white, which make paintings beautifully muted. Celebritrees ends with further information about species of trees, suggestions of ways to help save them, and a bibliography. All readers will more clearly see trees as places of mystery, history, and life.