While a Tree Was Growing

Bosveld, Jane

Published by Workman Publishing Company, 1997
ISBN 10: 0761105409 / ISBN 13: 9780761105404
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Synopsis: Here is the story of the oldest living sequoia -- possibly the oldest living thing on earth -- whose wondrous life spans the Trojan war (it was 150 years old and 75 feet high when the Greeks delivered their gift horse), the coming of the Buddha, Christ, and Mohammed (by then, two thousand years old, over 270 feet high), the settling of America, and the 1996 Presidential election. Yes, it's still growing, high up in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Like a unique biological time-line, While a Tree Was Growing juxtaposes the life of a single tree with a chronology of world events to narrate 3,500 years of history, natural science, anthropology, and more. Large, generously illustrated two-page spreads are flanked by columns, with historic milestones on the left and a growth chart recording the treeís progress on the right. Stitched into the middle of the book is a fold-out 11O x 33O poster. Illustrated by Daniel O'Leary.

From the Inside Flap: High on the western slopes of California's Sierra Nevada grows the giant sequoia. Called wawonas and moguchi by Native Americans, the "big ones" by European settlers, and Sequoia-dendron giganteum by scientists, they are the largest trees in the world and among the oldest of all living things.

From science writer Jane Bosveld comes the story of one giant sequoia. We are there for its chancy beginnings as a seedling over three thousand years ago; we chart its magnificent growth-first straight up, to claim a piece of the crowded forest sky, and then out to diameter the equivalent of forty people holding hands in a ring.

Re-creating the tree's life, the author shows how it lived through hundreds of forest fires (a substance in its bark prevents it from burning); housed birds, animals, and insects by the millions; and was visited by generations of American Indians, including the Miwoks and Wukchumnis.

At the same time the tree offers a unique chronology, a living time line. While the tree was growing . . . the Greeks tricked the Trojans with a giant horse. While the tree was growing . . . Siddhartha Guatama is born, becomes Buddha, the "awakened one," and founds a new religion. While the tree was growing . . . Cleopatra rules Egypt, Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa, Shakespeare writes Hamlet, Thomas Edison invents the photograph, and astronauts walk on the moon.

And while that same tree was growing . . . you were born.

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Title: While a Tree Was Growing
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Bosveld, Jane
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Bosveld, Jane
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