Who Lived in a Tree
to Save a Forest
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(pub.5.12.2015) 40 pages
A True Tale with A Cherry On Top
A uthor and Illustrator: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
C haracter: Julia Butterfly Hill
O verview from the jacket flap:
"Once there was a redwood tree - one of the world's largest and tallest trees, and one of the oldest. And once, born nearly a thousand years after the tree first took root, there was a girl named Julia, who was called Butterfly.
One day, exploring her beloved forest, Butterfly wandered into a grove of ancient trees. One tree had broken branches and a big blue X on the side. It was going to be cut down. Butterfly climbed up into the tree. Don't trees have a right to just be? she thought. And, she also thought, a tree wouldn't be cut down if it had a person living in it. A person who would go on to live in that tree for two years.
Inspired by Julia Butterfly Hill's courageous fight to save an ancient redwood..."
"When she reached a comfortable perch, Butterfly introduced herself.
'I am Butterfly. and YOU, Luna, are a ladder to the moon.'
Luna smiled inside.
Welcome, little Butterfly. You are brave to have ventured up so high!
Butterfly marveled at Luna's view of the world.
She spied a river twisting this way and that past Luna's countless brothers and sisters and cousins.
But then she looked closer.
Butterfly realized what the blue X meant on Luna's trunk.
The tree would soon be chopped down and harvested."
and something more: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw explained in her Author's Note in Luna & Me that in "December 1999, the Pacific Lumber Company and Julia Butterfly Hill signed an agreement to protect Luna and the surrounding grove. Sanctuary Forest, a nonprofit organization who primary focus is land and water restoration and conservation, became entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring the Luna preserve in perpetuity. On December 18, 1999, after 738 days, Julia climbed down from Luna's arms. Since then, she has spent more than fifteen years as an inspirational speaker, teaching people about the environment and how to help preserve the earth for future generations."
I've always had a soft spot for redwoods and I was very lucky to live for many years in a house with an enormous redwood towering outside my window. I thought it was quite wonderful to learn that Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw "spent an enchanting day at the base of Luna, listening to many stories from Luna's caretaker, Stuart Moskowitz." Jenny and her family "camped in the redwoods - breathing deeply, lying on the forest floor, painting, and playing with banana slugs. Luna and the Redwood Forest fueled [her] illustrations with detail and magic." May everyone have a chance to be by a redwood!