The Tree in the Ancient Forest is a marvelous book and a fine introduction to the life of a forest for ages 4 to 10.
— NAPRA Review
Reed-Jones’ cumulative verse technique, which very effectively illustrates the ecological concept, will make this book a lively story-time or lap-share read-aloud as well as a good choice for choral reading. Canyon’s superb double-page illustrations can be appreciated both as fine works of art and as detailed studies of forest flora and fauna.
— Booklist (Amer. Library Assn.)
If you saw the huge tree in the ancient forest, you might not realize that it provides numerous creatures with a home and food sources. Look carefully, sit still and listen, and you will discover that creatures large and small live in and around this three-hundred-year old fir tree.
Little voles eat truffles that lie hidden in the soil around the great trees roots, and when night falls, a great owl hunts the voles. The owl lives in a hole in the big tree, raising its babies there. This warm dry home was excavated by a woodpecker, which runs up and down the tree snapping up ants hungrily.
Written in a style that is reminiscent of the rhyme, “This is the House that Jack Built,” this picture book shows young children how one great tree is a vital part of an ecosystem. The animals and plants that live in and around the tree depend on it, and in some ways, the tree depends those plants and animals as well. In addition to introducing children to the idea of interdependence between species, this book also touches on many aspects of ancient forest biology, and on the pressing need to preserve these precious ecosystems.
— Through The Looking Glass Children’s Book Review (April 2009)
(Four teapots – highest rating)
On a single old fir tree a web of plants & animals weave a web of life.
Come into a deep, old northern forest where trees reach for the sky, hundreds of feet high. Where their roots beneath the duff, spread out in vast tendrils seeking food, creating food for voles & mice, who, in turn, are fattened up for the owls hunting for food for their owlets.
Come listen to the rat-ta-tat-tat of the woodpecker, hunting for insects that crawl between trunk & bark of this three-hundred-year-old tree that grows in the ancient forest.
Meet the squirrel & the marten as they scramble for cones on this three-hundred-year-old tree that grows in the ancient forest.
Carol Reed-Jones has created a lyrical story of life around an old-growth fir tree, & Christopher Canyon’s illustrations are bright, powerful & absorbing.
As I was reading The Tree in the Ancient Forest, two other books came to mind. Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling, which tells the stories of hundreds of years through which one tree lives. The Ancient One by T. A. Barron is for teenage Readers who have a sense of wonder, magic & adventure about finding themselves enticed into a forest.
The Tree in the Ancient Forest is a keeper, its story is delightful & its images memorable. . . .
— Rebecca Reads – www.rebeccasreads.com (December 2002)
Through cumulative, repetitive verse, the interrelatedness of plant and animal life surrounding an old fir tree is revealed. The colorful, close up, real life illustrations cover the entire page with the text overlaid. It answers the two stated questions “What is an ancient forest?” and “Why are ancient forests important?” At the end there is a glossary that gives descriptions of the various plants and animals encountered in this enlightening and appealing book.
— Children’s Literature – Mary Clayton Rowen
This is a book that parents can buy to read to their children and should be a welcome addition to the school library. Teachers can make effective use of the volume as part of science lessons, since the science is accurate and the book painlessly teaches important ecological lessons
— Science Books & Films – Donald F. Logsdon
The Tree in the Ancient Forest beautifully describes forest life and how all things are connected. The main character in this story is a 300 year-old fir tree. The tree roots, truffles, mice, voles, and owls are some of the characters. Carol Reed-Jones’ use of repetitive, cumulative verse will not only educate children about the natural world, it will keep them entertained as well. Christopher Canyon’s illustrations, done in acrylic paint, complement the text and will hold the child’s attention. At the end of the story there are educational sections where additional information is provided about the 12 characters in the book and the questions “What is an Ancient Forest?” and “Why are Ancient Forests important?” are answered.
— Cottage Times – N. Glenn Perrette (July 2002)
Excellent quality color illustrations are especially notable features of a strong story line which is fun to read and absorb.
— Children’s Bookwatch
Christopher Canyon’s memorable full color paintings are both magical and true to life.
— International Reading Assn., Ohio Chapter
The repetitive, cumulative verse makes the text easy to follow, and the full-page colorful illustrations are superb. If you are searching for some good reading to share with children ages 4 to 10, try this book.
— The Vermont Weathervane
The cumulative verse/text is charming and the full-color, full-page illustrations are detailed, elegant, and scientifically accurate. From a press which aims at encouraging appreciation for the natural world, this book is a fine example of its genre.
— Small Press Magazine
This book opens kid’s hearts and mind to the wonder and necessity of the `elder trees ` This book is a must for parents and teachers who want to develop in young people a sense of caring and concern for the world’s precious forests.
— Anbcy Lipkis, Pres., Treepeople
The Tree in the Ancient Forest is the children’s book of the year for the ecologically minded parent.
— Northwest Conservation Magazine
An excellent introduction to the complexities of environmental systems in nature. . . From the lowly fungi and voles to the majestic Northern Spotted Owls, the vibrant pileated woodpecker and the elusive marten, this book is a simple by effective means to convey to young readers the somewhat complex concept of the web nature weaves that scientists often refer to as ecosystems.
The book also has two excellent sections on defining the term `ancient forest’ and a concise explanation of why the ancient forest is so crucial to both humans and animals.
— Star Kids World