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The Man Who Planted Trees Hardcover – April 29, 2005
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Jean Giono (1895-1970), the only son of a cobbler and a laundress, was one of France's greatest writers. He was a pacifist, and he was imprisoned in France for his beliefs during the Second World War. He wrote over thirty novels, scores of short stories, plays, poetry, essays, and filmscripts. Giono won the Prix de Monaco (for the most outstanding collected work by a French writer) among other awards.
Top customer reviews
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Clearly the work of a master of his craft who well understands the matters about which he writes.
It's the sort of book you'd like to read again; a book you should read to,your grandkids
You won't be sorry you bought this book.
A re-assuring, peaceful, wonderful story with a simple, unforgettable message.
There are dozens of facets that could be highlighted in a review, but the one I find most compelling is Giono's treatment of a man alone and how he is yet connected to the world around him. Even a solitary figure can contribute to the birth and health of a community. It's not clear why he does his work, but it's clear that the work is good.
There is such hope here, but no easy palliative. It is a call to lifelong diligence in the service of something good, and important, and bigger than ourselves.
This wonderful tale has been reviewed by professionals so I won't attempt it. I can, however, share the memory of my neighbor and state that this book is a pleasure to read.
Written by Jean Giono, this popular story of inspiration and hope was originally published in 1954 in Vogue as "The Man Who Planted Hope and Grew Happiness." The story's opening paragraph is as follows:
"For a human character to reveal truly exceptional qualities, one must have the good fortune to be able to observe its performance over many years. If this performance is devoid of all egoism, if its guiding motive is unparalleled generosity, if it is absolutely certain that there is no thought of recompense and that, in addition, it has left its visible mark upon the earth, then there can be no mistake."
The Man Who Planted Trees has left a "visible mark upon the earth" having been translated into several languages. In the "Afterword" of the Chelsea Green Publishing Company's edition, Norma L. Goodrich wrote that Giono donated his story. According to Goodrich, "Giono believed he left his mark on earth when he wrote Elzeard Bouffier's story because he gave it away for the good of others, heedless of payment: `It was one of my stories of which I am the proudest. It does not bring me in one single penny and that is why it has accomplished what it was written for.'"
This special edition is very informative. Not only does it contain Giono's inspirational story, which is complemented beautifully by Michael McCurdy's wood engraving illustrations and Goodrich's informative "Afterword" about Giono, but it also contains considerable information about how wood and paper can be conserved in the section "The WoodWise Consumer." Goodrich writes about Giono's effort to have people respect trees.
"Giono later wrote an American admirer of the tale that his purpose in creating Bouffier `was to make people love the tree, or more precisely, to make them love planting trees.' Within a few years the story of Elzeard Bouffier swept around the world and was translated into at least a dozen languages. It has long since inspired reforestation efforts, worldwide."
The Man Who Planted Trees is not only a wonderful story, it will inspire you and your children to care for the natural world.
-Reviewed by N. Glenn Perrett