Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott FordWhile the oak tree is the focus of this latest title in the "Webs of Life" series, the lives of the plants and creatures protected and nourished by it are explored. The seasons of the year and the seasons of the life of the tree are intertwined in the well-written explanatory text enhanced by excellent photographs from various sources. Moss and ferns grow in the shade as the fallen leaves keep the ground damp. Mice burrow underneath the leaves and twigs where earthworms and salamanders hide to keep their skin moist. Birds feast on the insects and small shrubs and plants grow under the spreading canopy of the oak. The tree eventually weakens until it is toppled over, but the rotting wood still offers food and shelter to small animals and insects. Finally, within the space left by the fallen tree, sunlight shines upon a seedling so that another oak will fill the space.
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