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Children's Nonfiction Trees & Forests

Can You Hear the Trees Talking?

Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest

by (author) Peter Wohlleben

translated by Shelley Tanaka

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2019
Trees & Forests, Environmental Science & Ecosystems, Environmental Conservation & Protection
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 10
  • Grade: 3 to 5




This interactive and illustrated book for kids aged 8-10 introduces the wonderful science of the forest through outdoor activities, quizzes, fun facts, photographs, and more!

Discover the secret life of trees with this nature and science book for kids: Can You Hear the Trees Talking? shares the mysteries and magic of the forest with young readers, revealing what trees feel, how they communicate, and the ways trees take care of their families. The author of The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben, tells kids about the forest internet, aphids who keep ants as pets, nature’s water filters, and more fascinating things that happen under the canopy.

Featuring simple activities kids can try on their own, along with quizzes, photographs, and more, Can You Hear the Trees Talking? covers a range of amazing topics including:


  • How trees talk to each other (hint: through the wood wide web!)
  • Why trees are important in the city
  • How trees make us healthy and strong
  • How trees get sick, and how we can help them get better


This engaging and visually stunning book encourages learning and fun as kids discover the wonder of the natural world outside their windows.


"Lush full-color photos and pictures create an immersive experience and the layout facilitates engaged, delighted learning. ...this book may prompt frequent family visits to, and a new appreciation for, neighborhood trees and local forests.”

Washington Parent

About the authors

Peter Wohlleben is the author of several books about the natural world, including The Hidden Life of Trees, The Inner Life of Animals, and The Heartbeat of Trees. His books for children include Can You Hear the Trees Talking?, Do You Know Where the Animals Live?, and Peter and the Tree Children. A longtime former forester, Wohlleben runs a forest academy in Germany that supports sustainable forest management and teaches adults and children about the many wonders of the forest.


Peter Wohlleben's profile page

SHELLEY TANAKA is an award-winning author, translator and editor. She has written more than twenty books for children and young adults, winning the Orbis Pictus Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Science in Society Book Award and the Information Book Award, and she has twice been nominated for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Other honors include Texas Blue Bonnet runner-up, School Library Journal Best Books, ALA Notables and IRA Young Adults’ Choice. Her translation of Michel Noel’s Good for Nothing won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and was on the IBBY Honor List (Commended). Shelley teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.


Shelley Tanaka's profile page



Editorial Reviews

“A fascinating and detailed guide. ... [Wohlleben] has done a remarkable job ensuring that each page tells a complete story, answering questions ranging from how trees know when it is spring to why trees are important in the city.”
Science Magazine

“A forest's worth of appealing sidebars, pop-up quizzes with fascinating statistics, and colorful photographs add to a strong subtext: Forest preservation is not just important, but imperative. A tree-treatise treat.”
Kirkus Starred Review

[Can You Hear the Trees Talking?] is an outstanding introduction into the world of trees. Highly recommended for students of science, environment, and ecology.
School Library Journal Starred Review

“As fascinating and relaxing as a stroll through the woods.”

“[Can You Hear the Trees Talking] presents a beautifully laid-out walk through the forest with a kindly guide, who points out fascinating sights and intriguing phenomena. Captivating, close-up photos illuminate the engaging text, making this both a superb classroom resource and a strong choice for young browsers.”
Publishers Weekly

Can You Hear the Trees Talking? is a fantastic and accessible version of his bestselling The Hidden Life of Trees. [Wohlleben] poses a series of basic questions for his readers—can trees talk, are trees brave, do trees sleep at night, how do trees know when it’s spring—and offers them his unique knowledge and shares his passion for trees, wonderful photographs of his forest and fun quizzes and simple activities.”
The Globe and Mail

“Our favorite books to inspire your kids to go outdoors….an eye-opening look at how trees nurture each other, socialize, communicate, compete, and even exhibit different ‘personalities.’ The insights you’ll glean may well transform your walks in the woods forever.”
Matador Network

“Curious kids will eat this one up, because it’s full of facts!”

"[Peter Wohlleben's] dedication, knowledge, and passion come through on every page of this book. Filled with whimsy, information, and activities, this book is a delight for children of all ages! ”
—Powell's Books

“A delightful way to introduce children to the wonders of the trees and to the world of the forest….Any child who is curious about nature would love Can You Hear the Trees Talking?, and it would make a great book for family activities as well as for use in a traditional or homeschool curriculum.”
Beth Fish Reads

“Kid-friendly… could embraced by a science teacher for use in the class.”
Kiss the Book Jr.

“Children were talking with trees for centuries before scientists proved that trees communicate. What better guide to kids' conversation with our leafy neighbors than Peter Wohlleben, who revealed to adults the hidden lives of trees? This splendid book is bursting with exciting science. Better yet, Can You Hear The Trees Talking? fosters reverence and wonder for a forest far more magical than even fairy-tales claim."
—Sy Montgomery, New York Times bestselling author and recipient of the Sibert Medal

Other titles by Peter Wohlleben

Other titles by Shelley Tanaka