A Forest in the City

A Forest in the City

By Andrea Curtis

★ Skipping Stone Honor Award winner

★ Bank Street Best Books of the Year (9-12 year olds)

★ UN Sustainable Development Goals Book Club pick

“Imagine a city draped in a blanket of green… Is this the city you know?”

Richly illustrated by the award-winning Pierre Pratt, A Forest in the City is a narrative nonfiction picture book about the urban forest.

The book starts with a bird’s-eye view of the tree canopy, then swoops down to street level, digs deep into the ground, moves up through a tree’s trunk, back into the leaves and branches. A Forest in the City it is aimed at grades 3-7.

Andrea Curtis - A Forest in the City
Illustration by Pierre Pratt

First in the new ThinkCities series from Groundwood Books

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“For budding environmentalists.”—Booklist

“The vital importance of the urban forest in relation to the welfare of city dwellers is presented with interesting information and lush illustrations. Useful for reports, projects, and classroom activities.”— School Library Journal

“A Forest in the City is a fantastic book for elementary school students, offering clear connections to the Ontario Curriculum.”—EFTO Voice

“A fascinating look at how vital urban forests are, looking at both the problems trees in the city face as well how indispensable they are in our fight against climate change and pollution. Pratt’s boisterous illustrations provide readers with just the right amount of green space to consider these serious issues we all face.”—Jeffrey Canton, The Globe and Mail

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Buy this book

A Forest in the City is available everywhere great books are sold! Visit your local independent bookstore or buy online.

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About illustrator Pierre Pratt

Pierre Pratt is the award-winning illustrator of more than seventy books for children. He has won the Golden Apple and Golden Plaque at the Biennial of Illustration in Bratislava, the UNICEF Prize in Bologna and a Totem at the Montreuil Salon du Livre in France. Other awards include the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award and the Governor General’s Literary Award (Illustration) three times. He has also been a finalist for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Pierre divides his time between Montreal and Lisbon.

Learning resources

A Forest in the City includes lots of ideas and activities about how you can help the urban forest. I’ve also compiled some teacher and parent-friendly resources to keep the learning going. Find out more about why and how to get involved!

Did you know?

  • Every day a mature tree creates enough oxygen for four people to breathe.
  • Tree leaves capture and trap dirt and chemicals, improving people’s health and reducing pollution.
  • Trees make our city cooler by adding moisture to the air and creating shade.
  • The average city street tree lives only seven years.
  • A mature tree needs three dumptrucks full of good fertile soil to grow big and strong.
  • Trees help cities save money by fighting climate change, cutting down on energy use and improving people’s physical and mental health.
  • Trees improve road safety because streets appear more narrow and drivers slow down.
  • Having a view of trees reduces depression and stress and makes people happy!

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Check out these videos, mini movies and craft tutorials!

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About ThinkCities

The ThinkCities series is inspired by the urgency for new approaches to city life as a result of climate change, population growth and increased density. It highlights the challenges and risks cities face, but also offers hope for building resilience, sustainability and quality of life as young people act as advocates for themselves and their communities.

Coming soon: City of Water, spring 2021