Can You Hear the Trees Talking?: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest is a fascinating, informative, nonfiction book about the wonderful ecology of forests. Written by forester and global advocate Peter Wohlleben, it’s full of appealing color illustrations, quizzes, sidebars, and activities. All laid out in two-page spreads perfectly geared to readers age 8-12, it’s packed full of fun that will painlessly educate even dedicated non-readers. There is also a free, downloadable companion guide for parents and teachers.*
Originally published in 2017 for adult readers as The Hidden Life of Trees, Can You Hear the Trees Talking? has been beautifully refashioned and reshaped for young readers. In it, Wohlleben readily communicates his depth of knowledge, enthusiasm and passion throughout. His message about the importance of his topic speaks volumes on every page, despite a hefty dose of authorial anthropomorphizing.
I seldom have the opportunity to review nonfiction children’s books in translation, so reading and reviewing this one was a true pleasure. You, too, can enjoy a magical science field trip to the forest from your armchair: leafing through Can You Hear the Trees Talking? will transport you to their wondrous world with the flip of a page.
Written by Peter Wohlleben
Translated from the German by Shelley Tanaka
2019 Greystone Books
Interviews with the Author: The Guardian; Psychology Today; BookPage; Yale Environment 360; Skavlan Talk Show; Goethe Institut; #Stand4Forests; Geography of Hope Conference; Waterstones; Uncommon Sense-RRR; CBC CA
Award-winning opera singer Nanette McGuinness is the translator of 60 books and graphic novels for children and adults from French, Italian, and German into English, including the much-loved Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novels (Papercutz, 2007-17). Two of her latest translations, Luisa: Now and Then (Humanoids, 2018) and California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas (First Second, 2017) were chosen for YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens; Luisa: Now and Then was also a 2019 Stonewall Honor Book and a 2020 GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Honor Book. Her most recent translations include Little Josephine: Memory in Pieces (Humanoids, 2020), Undead Messiah #3 and Bibi & Miyu, (both TOKYOPOP, 2020) Brina Cat #2: City Cat and The Sisters, Vol. 6: Hurricane Maureen (both Papercutz, 2020).