If a tree falls in the forest... someone or something will always be there to hear it. Many, many creatures will feel the effects when their source of sustenance and shelter falls to the earth. So when a man is sent into the Amazon rain forest one day, under instructions to chop down a great kapok tree, many eyes watch him nervously. It's not long before he grows tired, though, and the "heat and hum" of the rain forest lulls him to sleep. One by one, snakes, bees, monkeys, birds, frogs, and even a jaguar emerge from the jungle canopy to plead with the sleeping ax-man to spare their home. When the man awakens, startled at all the rare and marvelous animals surrounding him, he picks up his ax as if to begin chopping again, then drops it and walks away, presumably never to return.
Unfortunately, there's always someone else who is willing to take his place, but the message of this environmental book is plain: Save the rain forest! The story itself is not overly compelling, but each personalized entreaty from the animals provides an accurate and persuasive scientific argument for preserving nature's gifts. Lynne Cherry's fertile watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations, including a map of the tropical rain forests of the world, are vivid and colorful. A fine starting point for a discussion about conservation. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
In this breathtakingly beautiful picture book, Cherry combines illustrations that reveal a naturalist's reverence for beauty with a mythlike story that explains the ecological importance of saving the rain forests. The text is not a didactic treatise, but a simply told story about a man who falls asleep while chopping down a kapok tree. The forest's inhabitants--snakes, butterflies, a jaguar, and finally a child--each whisper in his ear about the terrible consequences of living in "a world without trees" or beauty, about the interconnectedness of all living things. When the man awakens and sees all the extraordinary creatures around him, he leaves his ax and "walks out of the rain forest." A map showing the earth's endangered forests and the creatures that dwell within ends the book which, like the rain forests themselves, is "wondrous and rare." Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.