First Second publisher is my kryptonite. It does not matter if I have just read one of their Science Comics, I must read another. And this time, it was the fault of my library that I picked up Trees: Kings of the Forest in this series. You see, I was looking for another book and they did not have it, and since you can check out five books at a time, I figured better find another one. And with its big, cheesy grin, Acorn told me to pick him.
Andy Hirsch has done it again. But also, this time they challenged me. While a book about trees is a fun subject, especially for a graphic novel (therefore being able to see about all those big $64,000 words) it was a lot hard to get into. Oh, the giggles are aplenty (there are a few puns, a beetle that has a taste for science and one very hungry (and later frustrated squirrel), but since trees and plants is not something I tend to think about (except when a tree limb almost hits the wires in a storm, or my cactus plant decides to bite me) I had little background on the subject.
I had to stop, think and take my time. Thankfully Hirsch’s illustrations help the read see how roots grow, bark protects, how knots are created and how trees even talk. A budding scientist, gardener or even allergy suffer, can learn with easy, but informational text and perfectly colored and detailed images.
If there is one complaint, I have about these books is that there are few natural stops in them. However, with trees there are several animals that take Acorn on his journey to learn all the wonderful things about trees. This allows for a break to be taken. All ages from as young as 7 or 8 (some could read solo; others would need help) up to the reader aged 12 or 13 (this higher end would be for a reader who might not be completely at grade level). And while it is a good book for the individual it would be a good companion for the classroom setting.
Introduction by Richard Karban.