Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Because of an Acorn

Because of an Acorn

Lola M. Schaefer, Adam Schaefer
Illustrator:  Frann Preston-Gannon 
Nonfiction Picture Book
Chronicle Books, 2016   ISBN: 978-1452112428

Sometimes very small and seemingly insignificant things play a very big role in the big picture, and we forget, when we look at that big picture, that something very small was responsible for it all. When we look at a forest full of oak trees, a forest that provides a home for so many animal and plant species, we often don’t realize that a small and simple little acorn brought about the creation of the forest.

In this picture book the story of the role of an acorn in a vital woodland ecosystem is told. It begins with an acorn which, when it sprouts, grows and becomes a tree. The tree provides a bird with a home and a refuge. Going about its business, hunting and capturing food, the bird knocks into a plant and seeds fall to the ground. The seeds grow into flowering plants which when then produce fruit. Chipmunks come to eat the fruits, and the little mammals attract the attention of a snake.

The connections between the animals and plants in this forest are many, and in some way, no matter how distant they are in the food chain, the members of this ecosystem depend on one another. Most importantly, they depend on the acorn.

Many jungles, forests, and woodland ecosystems depend on a tree seed of some kind, a seed just like an acorn. Though the disappearance of any of the species in a forest ecosystem would be a loss, and though a gap in the food chain might cause problems, the loss of seeds like acorns and the trees that they come from would be disastrous.

Using the simplest of words and beautiful multimedia art, the creators of this book celebrate the way in which ecosystems work. The narrative serves as a reminder that we need to protect trees if we hope to see tree-rich ecosystems survive into the future.

At the back of this book the authors offer readers further information about oak tree forests, ecosystems and the conservation of forest environments.