Arboreal Lessons

I #Stand4Redwoods because of the lessons they offer kids.

Tall Tall TreesIn 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.

Reading the Redwoods contest for kidsWant 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.

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About the author

Anthony D. Fredericks is an award-winning children's author. His most recent book, Tall Tall Tree, was presented with the 2018 Outstanding Science Trade Book Award by the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council. The book has also been endorsed by Save the Redwoods League.

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