A Forest in the City
Andrea Curtis, illustrated by Pierre Pratt
his beautiful book of narrative non-fiction looks at the urban forest, starting with a bird's-eye view of the tree canopy, then swooping down to street level, digging deep into the ground, then moving up through a tree's trunk, back into the leaves and branches.
It discusses the problems that city trees face such as the abundance of concrete, poor soil and challenging light conditions. It traces the history of trees in cities over time, showing how industrialization and the growth of populations in urban centres led to the creation of places like Central Park in New York City, where people could enjoy nature and clean air. It wasn't until Dutch Elm disease swept across North America, killing hundreds of thousands of trees, that people realized how important trees are to our cities.
So how can we create a healthy environment for city trees? Some urban foresters are trying to create better growing conditions using specially designed soil trenches or planters, they are planting diverse species to reduce the harm of invasive pests, and they are maintaining trees as they age, among a number of other strategies.
The urban forest is a complex ecosystem, and we are a part of it. Trees make our cities more beautiful and provide shade but they also fight climate change and pollution, benefit our health and connections to one another, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and much more. It is vital that we nurture our city forests. (From Groundwood Books)
Andrea Curtis is an author of books for children and adults. Her children's nonfiction titles include Eat This! and What's for Lunch?. She is also the author of the young adult novel Big Water. Her adult books include Into the Blue, winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, and The Stop, co-authored by Nick Saul.
Pierre Pratt is an award-winning illustrator of over 70 children's books.