Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet

Deep Roots 61SF7ypLrXL__SX424_BO1,204,203,200_Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet

Nikki Tate, Author

Orca Book Publishers, Nonfiction, Feb. 9, 2016

Pages: 48

Suitable for Ages: 8-12

Themes: Trees, Forests, Ecosystems, Green Lungs, Water Cycle, Fuel, Shelter

Opening: “No matter where you live, even if it’s in a big city, chances are you won’t be far from a tree or two. It’s a good thing we find trees all over the place.”

Book Jacket Synopsis: Where is the tallest tree in the world? What is a corduroy road? What does a carbon sink do? Why is the baobab called the Tree of Life?

Trees provide us with everything from food, fuel and shelter to oxygen and filtered water. Deep Roots celebrates the central role trees play in our lives, no matter where we live. Each chapter in Deep Roots focuses on a basic element — water, air, fire and earth — and explores the many ways in which we need trees to keep us and our planet healthy and livable.

Why I like this book:

Nikki Tate has written a beautiful nonfiction photo journey for readers to learn about the role of trees in maintaining a vibrant ecosystem, as well as providing food, fuel and shelter.  The story is shown through gorgeous photography, personal stories and facts. The author explains “why trees just might be our best friends, barometers of how we are looking after our planet, and our partners as we move forward to create a healthier world.”

Tate’s book is an inspiring environmental treasure for tree-loving middle grade students who want to plant, study and celebrate their tall green friends.  Every page has a suggestion for youth to “Try This!” activities. There are four chapters that show how trees interact with the four forces of nature — earth, air, water and fire — and how important this relationship is to the balance of the entire planet.

Deep Roots is a welcomed addition to any school library as educators are looking to provide current resources for students about climate change and environmental issues. The Orca Footprints series, has created an exceptional library of books for students.  See other titles below.

Interesting facts from Deep Roots:

  • Earth: Sometimes called the lungs of the planet, trees are critical for producing oxygen, cleansing both air and runoff water of pollutants and feeding the soil when they die.  They also provide food for both humans, animals and insects. Their roots loosen soil and allow water to penetrate the ground, where it can be stored for drier weather.
  • Air: Trees are very busy. Through their leaves and needles they breathe in carbon dioxide (CO2) that clean out car exhaust and other pollutants. Then they breathe out life-sustaining oxygen for human and animal species.
  • Water: When trees suck up water from the soil they release the extra water in the atmosphere.  When enough water has been “breathed out” by the trees, it condenses into clouds and then falls as rain around the planet.
  • Fire: Forest fires can be terrifying,  but they are a normal part of the life cycle of some types of forest. The ash provides nutrients to the soil. It thins out forests so surviving trees grow taller and seedlings can sprout.

Nikki Tate is the author of more than thirty books, most of which are for children and teenagers. She splits her time between Canmore, Alberta, and Victoria, British Columbia. For more information visit Nikki Tate.

Check other Middle Grade review links on author Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

29 thoughts on “Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet

    • There is a series of books like Deep Roots by Orca Footprints that all belong in every school library. I reviewed another, Trash Talk last spring. I love their environmental titles.

    • Greg, Orca Footprints publishes such beautiful environmental books for kids. This would be a good companion book to the book you are reviewing. You may want to check out a wonderful YouTube video about the communication between trees in the forest by a forester. It’s like the forest has a nervous systems with each tree communicating and depending upon the other.

  1. This sounds like it’d appeal to kids that prefer nonfiction. My kids always like books with “try this” type activities too. And the photos look beautiful!

    • I didn’t realize that charter schools could be based on something like environmental education. You may want to check out all of the wonderful books that Orca Footprints as published for kids on the environment. Also Crickhollow is another great resource for younger children.

    • A corduroy road is made of logs that are placed perpendicular to the road. They were used over low and swampy areas that were not passible. Ohio has a lot of history with these roads. They could be dangerous for horse and buggies.

    • How fortunate you were to have that experience. I think you’d enjoy this book. I’m very fond of trees. There is a wonderful YouTube video by a forester who talks about the connections of trees and the neural networks that are created in a forest (reminds me Avatar). It’s much like our brain and CNS. Each tree serves a purpose. Here’s the link if you’d like to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSGPNm3bFmQ Discovered there are many more videos from other foresters talking about how trees communicate.

    • I really love trees, so your book is a perfect choice. It is visually beautiful and packed with powerful information for teens. I had my library order a copy because it belongs on their shelves as a resource for kids. Glad you liked the review.

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