Bristlecone: The Secret Life of the World's Oldest Tree
Living for more than five thousand years, ancient bristlecone pines are the oldest trees on Earth.
Interweaving lovely, meticulously drawn pictures with a story line that spans 5,000 years, Alexandra Siy invites young naturalists to explore the secrets of the world's oldest trees-secrets of the earth's climate, recorded in their tree rings, and secrets of the bristlecones' resilience, as a species that lives in the harshest of environments. Recorded in their rings is evidence of a changing planet. A volcano erupts in 2036 BC. In 775, a storm explodes on the sun. Lightning strikes in 1122. And during the 20th century, the temperature increases dramatically. Alexandra Siy's lyrical text, paired with Marlo Garnsworthy's meticulously researched mixed media paintings, reveals the life cycle of the mysterious and ancient bristlecone pine.
Free, downloadable activities designed to accompany the book are available on the publisher's website. Research, nature, art, vocabulary, and literature activities address Common Core State Standards: ELA/Literacy and Next Generation Science Standards.
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About the Author
2023 Children's Book Council Children's Favorites Award Winner
"As beautifully illustrated as it is informative, this enchanting and engaging book takes readers ages 5 to 9 on a journey through time. Through the lens of an ancient bristlecone pine's lifecycle, the story of the world's oldest trees blends science and secrets to draw readers into a surprisingly nuanced tale of history, biology, and ecological awareness that delights while it teaches."--Dr. Matthew Salzer, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
"Siy and Garnsworthy have created a picture book for all ages that is creative nonfiction at its best. It spotlights STEAM, including an "A" for "art" plus science that shows us HOW we know while infusing a desire to WANT to know. It innovatively includes suspense, romance, and wonder in a tale of these battle-scarred heroes of the plant kingdom."--Vicki Cobb, Founder/President of iNK Think Tank, Inc.
"The world's oldest trees get the spotlight in Siy's picture book. In her first book since Voyager's Greatest Hits (2017), the author brings the story of a bristlecone pine tree to life. This nonfiction book's story opens with a walk into the California mountains toward one of the world's oldest trees. Readers learn how a bristlecone pine starts as a seed deposited on a rocky mountain, then stretches up toward the sky, developing growth rings. The pace is slow, soothingly moving through the seasons as the tree matures. Siy explains how scientists determine a tree's age and possible threats to bristlecones that, if conquered, show up in its growth rings. It opens with life cycle and photosynthesis diagrams and ends with further details about bristlecones, a glossary, and a guide to animals in the book. Garnsworthy's mixed-media full-color illustrations employ a rich, vivid palette that enlivens the natural world....This title conveys useful information that not only educates readers on bristlecones, but also offers wider lessons about dendrology in the vein of Christiane Dorion's Into the Forest: Wander Through Our Woodland World ( 2019).--Kirkus Reviews
"Ancient bristlecone pines are the oldest trees on earth and have lived for more than 5,000 years. Within their rings are the secrets of the past. From volcanic eruptions and droughts to insect attacks and lightning strikes, each pattern of the rings tells us what the tree has experienced. These trees live in the harshest conditions and grow slowly across California, Nevada, and Utah. With 'branches flexing, needles sunning, sugar surging, sap flowing, roots soaking--the seedling grows, ring by ring.' A beautifully told and illustrated story about the world's oldest tree. Readers will also find a glossary of terms used in the book, a life cycle of the tree, and a field guide to some of the animals that live in the ancient bristlecone forest."--KidsBookshelf"Featuring an informative yet approachable narrative and striking illustrations, the story of these aged plants is well told in this colorful book. The author also includes a nice summary at the end of the book, offering resource information for even deeper study of these