The Living Forest: A Visual Journey into the Heart of the Woods, J. Maloof and R. Llewellyn 2017

This is a large, heavy, and beautifully photographed book.  Beginning with the canopy and then extending from the forest floor through the middle realm and returning to the tops of the trees, the photographs are larger than the usual book, brilliantly colored, and great in both detail and scale. The text, on the other hand, was disappointing almost as if the author couldn’t decide if she was writing for children or adults.  Fascinating details (e.g. spring is delayed by about 3 days for every 330 feet of elevation; the average red maple of 1 foot diameter produces more than 1 million seeds/year; magnolias were the first trees to be insect pollinated; tree roots extend 7x beyond the branches and 99% of them are in the top 3 feet of soil) alternate with childish paragraphs and metaphors.  Despite the occasionally jarring texts, this is a great coffee table book, filled with beauty and information.  It’s would make a fine gift for your hiking or gardening friend.

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