Susan Hand Shetterly, Susan Hand Shetlerly. Tilbury House Publishers, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-88448-210-9
A logger tutors his granddaughter when she goes to live with him for a summer. Narrator Sophie watches deer in the cold dawn and learns to identify trees by sight and touch as her grandfather, in contrast to his clear-cutting neighbors, selectively cuts maples, leaving ""the wind-firm trees, the tallest and the biggest"" to resow the soil. Shetterly's (The Tinker of Salt Cove) narrative takes a few abrupt turns (e.g., a scene with the girl and her mother shifts immediately to one of the girl's grandfather teaching her the names of trees), but she studs her text with poetic description. Debut illustrator McCall's oil paintings evoke the awe in spotting a black bear or the glow of birch bark as daylight fades. While human faces and figures are somewhat awkwardly rendered, the hazily atmospheric natural landscapes effectively conjure the look of predawn mist and oxen exhaling clouds in frigid air. The book's title--a description of how big trees protect the smaller ones--is indicative of the diverse ways of nurturing represented within this volume, including how the natural world nourishes people. Ages 8-11. (Oct.) FYI: A 96-page teacher's guide is available ($9.95 -211-1).
Reviewed on: 06/28/1999
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-88448-256-7
Paperback - 80 pages - 978-0-88448-211-6