Redwoods

( 1 )

Overview

A ordinary subway trip is transformed when a young boy happens upon a book about redwood forests. As he reads the information unfolds, and with each new bit of knowledge, he travels—all the way to California to climb into the Redwood canopy. Crammed with interesting and accurate information about these great natural wonders, Jason Chin’s first book is innovative nonfiction set within a strong and beautiful picture storybook.

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Overview

A ordinary subway trip is transformed when a young boy happens upon a book about redwood forests. As he reads the information unfolds, and with each new bit of knowledge, he travels—all the way to California to climb into the Redwood canopy. Crammed with interesting and accurate information about these great natural wonders, Jason Chin’s first book is innovative nonfiction set within a strong and beautiful picture storybook.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Abby McGanney Nolan
Mixing the true and the truly wild, Jason Chin offers up engaging facts about the towering trees of California and Oregon along with bright, captivating illustrations that pluck a kid out of New York City and plunge him into the redwood forest.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Playing with the notion of just how immersive a book can be, illustrator Chin (The Day the World Exploded) makes his authorial debut with a clever exploration of coast redwoods. The framing story opens with a boy finding a copy of Redwoods on a subway station bench (he's even on the cover). He delves in, and facts about the ancient trees spring to life around him: as he reads in a subway car that "there are trees alive today that first sprouted during the Roman Empire," he is flanked by two figures from that era, driving home the point. Emerging from the station to find himself in the middle of a redwood forest, his adventures mirror what he's learning-standing in a redwood-made rain shower and glimpsing the Statue of Liberty in the midst of the forest (the tallest redwood is six stories taller). The straightforward narrative is given enormous energy by the inventive format and realistic watercolor illustrations-their soft edges and muted hues suit the mist-shrouded giants. Chin adeptly captures the singular and spectacular nature of redwoods in this smartly layered book. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Before the title page, a young boy notices a book left on a bench in the subway station. He opens it to reveal its, and our, title page, complete with a picture of a young girl amid the redwoods. The text of this book is the text he is reading as he enters the subway train and sits down. While he is reading on the train, echoes of the text appear, first as dinosaurs in the window, then as ancient Romans sitting beside him. As the text mentions the roots of the redwoods, our hero mounts the exit stairs toward roots and finds himself amid the astounding redwoods themselves. He reads and explores, as we learn facts about the trees and how they grow. He escapes a fire, learns about the rain forest, and climbs up into the amazing canopy. Suddenly, he is back on a park bench. Noting the time, he rushes away, leaving the book to be discovered by another young adventurer. The imaginative visual story is designed in naturalistic watercolors that Chin fills with the trees and forest. We climb a rope with our hero and swing amid the trees to get closer to the life in the canopy and the view from the top. The scenes exude a pale green light that adds to the pleasure. Notes add information on the redwoods and their importance to the environment. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4

This remarkable picture book delivers a mix of fantasy and fiction through beautifully detailed watercolors. Waiting on a subway platform alone, a boy finds a book about redwood trees and becomes captivated while reading it on the train. As he learns that there are trees alive today that first sprouted during the Roman Empire, readers notice two passengers seated beside him from that period. When he comes out of the station, he finds himself deep in a redwood forest, where, clad in climber's gear and a harness, he launches a rope, climbs a tree, discovers wildlife in the branches, and experiences the many wonders similar to a professional researcher. Colorful panels focus on his observations. Chin superbly captures the boy's varied expressions throughout his adventure. Perspective is artfully used to show the immensity of the trees as he rappels back down into the city with images of landmarks and skyscrapers. Reality returns when he notices the time and darts off, leaving the book behind for a girl to discover and begin her journey in the redwoods. The final pages include information about the environmental dangers that the redwoods face, some nature graphics drawn to scale, and an inspiring author's note. This inventive story will charm and educate readers and send their imaginations soaring.-Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY

Kirkus Reviews
Chin introduces the world of old-growth redwood forests to young readers in this effective mix of fiction and nonfiction. Finding his own image on the cover of an abandoned book-this book, with metaliterary self-reference-an Asian-American boy scans it and is seamlessly swept into a stunning new watercolor world that juxtaposes a straightforward nonfiction text against fantastical images. A Roman Centurion and a toga-clad citizen flank him on the subway as he reads that redwoods "can live for more than 2,000 years." Carrying the book as he walks through the forest, he learns about its growth patterns and its properties. He experiences the redwood's ability to generate under-the-canopy rain and races ahead of a blaze while he reads about its ability to survive fire. The adventure intensifies when he springs into a climber's harness, horizontal sequential panels allowing him to view the redwood's inhabitants level by level. Rappelling down, he alights in a city park, where he leaves the book for another child to find. An inventive, eye-opening adventure. (author's note) (Informational picture book. 6-8)
From the Publisher
“Mixing the true and the truly wild, Jason Chin offers up engaging facts about the towering trees of California and Oregon along with bright, captivating illustrations that pluck a kid out of New York City and plunge him into the redwood forest.” —The Washington Post

“The story in the illustrations shows in lovely metaphor how a tiny seed of information can take root in a fertile mind and grow into a strong, fire- and disease-resistant, redwood-sized understanding.” —Los Angeles Times

“This eco-friendly introduction to our state tree relies on straightforward writing for the facts and soft-edged art for a fanciful perspective.” San Francisco Chronicle

“Chin packs a great deal of information into his succinct text, and the blend of fantasy and realism in his watercolors will charm readers.” Science magazine

* “Chin’s watercolor illustrations capture both the majesty of the redwoods and the young boy’s inquisitive personality, and while the idea of a storybook so vivid that it comes to life is not new, what sets this one apart is that Chin has paired his fantastical visual narrative with a straightforward nonfiction text.” The Horn Book, starred review

* “The straightforward narrative is given enormous energy by the inventive format and realistic watercolor illustrations—their soft edges and muted hues suit the mist-shrouded giants. Chin adeptly captures the singular and spectacular nature of redwoods in this smartly layered book.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “A real eye-opener. . . . The text clearly and succinctly presents information, which is effectively illustrated in the colorful paintings. Even better, the narrative element in the artwork soars, promising to engage children imaginatively as well as intellectually.” —Booklist, starred review

The dazzling watercolors create an ingenious journey to highlight the facts.” —The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“This inventive story will charm and educate readers and send their imaginations soaring.” School Library Journal

“An inventive, eye-opening adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews

A straightforward and informative text about coastal redwoods captions pictures that tell not exactly a different story, but one whose metafictional cheek will draw readers in—just as the book’s hero is drawn, by his imagination, high into the redwood canopy. Science and story are seamlessly pulled together in neatly crafted paintings.” —The Horn Book, a Fanfare 2009 book

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596434301
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 222,869
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: NC1100L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

JASON CHIN worked as a children's bookseller. He has illustrated several books, but Redwoods is his author-illustrator debut. He lives in Vermont.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 20, 2013

    Fascinating information about the amazing Redwood tree. Clever p

    Fascinating information about the amazing Redwood tree. Clever presentation (child picks up this book, is transported inside it, and then another child finds the book and reads it). Great non-fiction for kids.

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