Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Ever-Living Tree: The Life and Times of a Coast Redwood

The Ever-Living Tree: The Life and Times of a Coast Redwood

Linda Vieira
Illustrator:  Christopher Canyon 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Walker and Company, 1994   ISBN: 0802774776

This is the story of a tree, a tree which was just a little sprout in a cool forest on the west coast of America when, on the other side of the world, Alexander the Great was marching his armies to India. Steadily the tree grew bigger, taller and stronger, providing a home for all kinds of creatures. Members of a Native American tribe would come to find food in the forest but they always left the domain of the huge trees at the end of the day, not wishing to stay in such a sacred place for too long.

As the tree grew bigger and bigger more momentous events were taking place in the world of men; the Great Wall of China was being built and a man called Jesus of Nazareth was born in the little town of Bethlehem. Now three hundred years old, the tree stood two hundred feet tall.

A fire, the comings and goings of animals in its branches and around its base, and the arrival of a new kind of man. These are the things that the great tree would see if it had eyes. And, in far away places away from the hushed light-dappled forest in which it lives, man is making great discoveries, building huge buildings and machines, waging wars, and is going on long voyages.

By telling the story of this extraordinary tree against the backdrop of human history, the author gives her reader a real sense of how special these great trees are. They are a living natural heritage that belongs to us all, and that give so much to the world even when their time is over and after they fall with a crash to the forest floor. A lyrical text, beautiful illustrations, and a timeline graph at the top of every double-page spread, makes this title a superb tribute to the great Redwood trees.