HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: A B Cedar: An Alphabet of Trees
Author: George Ella Lyon
Illustrator: Tom Parker
Publisher: Orchard Books, republished in 1996
ISBN-13: 978-0531057957 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 053105795X (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0531070802 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0531070808 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 3-6
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Lyon, George Ella. A B Cedar: An Alphabet of Trees (published in 1989 by Orchard Books). When I was growing up out in the country as a young boy, my father would take my younger brother and me on walks through the woods and tell us the names of all the trees, so I have always been interested in trees. As an eighth-grader and as a sophomore in high school, I had to make leaf collections for life science and biology classes, so I had a couple of tree identification guides. Both of our boys had to do leaf collections, I think in fifth or sixth grade, as part of their homeschool science curriculum. We checked this tree alphabet book which introduces the leaves from a variety of trees out of the library for our older son Mark when he was studying trees.
At first glance it appears to be a plain work, but it soon reveals rich layers and is more than just an alphabet book, using the alphabet chiefly as a point of departure for an introduction to 26 varieties of trees. A leaf and sometimes a fruit from each are shown, in simple greens and yellows, against a human hand. Below that are delicate black-and-white silhouettes that depict the entire tree surrounded by images of families, backpackers, elephants, even a game of baseball in progress. The information is filled with animation and warmth. The crisp, uncluttered spreads convey the shape and scale of both the smaller parts and whole tree. Nature-loving kids will appreciate it.