I #Stand4Redwoods because of the lessons they offer kids.
In 2015, my wife and I took a long-anticipated journey to Redwood National and State Parks from our home in Pennsylvania. We were amazed by these splendid titans — botanical kings soaring skyward in groves tucked into verdant valleys and along sinuous trails. It soon became evident that there was a children’s book waiting to be written about these majestic organisms.
Upon my return home, I began my research and discovered a most amazing fact: Until the late 1980s, redwoods were thought to be so tall that no animals could possibly live in their high branches. It wasn’t until a small group of adventurers ascended these towering giants that a previously unexplored world of creatures was discovered. There, more than 200 feet above the ground, were unique habitats for many animals typically found on the forest floor. I was awed!
Thus was born the idea for Tall Tall Tree (2017).
Yet, in crafting this story I also discovered another world — an incredible realm of learning opportunities. For it is among the redwoods that children learn important precepts: the value of solitude, a compassion for living organisms, a respect for natural history, an appreciation for biological longevity, a desire for environmental preservation, and ecological humility.
In the company of redwoods, children step away from the cacophony of daily living and reconnect with things wondrously normal and contemplatively natural — to get reacquainted with a truer ebb and flow of life.
Indeed, redwoods introduce youngsters to the admonition of St. Bernard (1090-1153): “More things are learnt in the woods than from books. Animals, trees and rocks teach you things not to be found elsewhere.”
In short, redwoods are a pedagogical gift: magical discoveries, fascinating stories, and wondrous lessons.
Want to read Tall Tall Tree and other books about redwoods? Check out our reading list.
You can also enter to win a copy of Tall Tall Tree and other fantastic prizes by entering our Reading the Redwoods contest by May 10, 2018. Reading the Redwoods is a free, online contest for kids in grades K-5, hosted in celebration of the centennial of Save the Redwoods League.