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Children's Nonfiction Environmental Science & Ecosystems

Tree of Life

The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth

by (author) Rochelle Strauss

illustrated by Margot Thompson

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2004
Environmental Science & Ecosystems
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2004
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2013
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7
  • Reading age: 8 to 12


If every known species on Earth were a leaf on a tree, that tree would have 1 750 000 leaves. Since humans count for just one leaf on the tree, we have a lot to learn about the millions of other forms of life with which we share the world. A dazzlingly illustrated and child-friendly introduction to biodiversity, Tree of Life shows how living things are classified into five kingdoms --- and how each has much to tell us about all aspects of life on our planet.

Tree of Life is part of CitizenKid: A collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.

About the authors

Rochelle Strauss is a bestselling children's book author, as well the director of education for the Toronto Botanical Garden. Through her work, Rochelle combines her love of nature and passion for stories to teach children about the wonders of the natural world. She lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario.

Rochelle Strauss' profile page

Margot Thompson is an illustrator of children's books including the award-winning Tree of Life, Sea Monsters, Make a Change: Shapes, and Make a Change: Opposites. She also works as a designer at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Margot Thompson's profile page


  • Short-listed, Alberta Children's Choice Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
  • Runner-up, Green Earth Book Award
  • Short-listed, Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Winner, Independent Publisher Book Award
  • Winner, Skipping Stones Honor Award, Skipping Stones Magazine
  • Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award
  • Winner, Teacher's Choice List, International Reading Association
  • Winner, Best of the Best Books List, Chicago Public Library
  • Winner, Book of the Year Award - Silver Medal, ForeWord Magazine
  • Winner, Henry Bergh Children's Book Award, ASPCA
  • Winner, Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence, The Editors' Association of Canada

Editorial Reviews

Tree of Life is beautifully designed, and Thompson's realistic pictures bring the Earth's creatures vividly to life. ... some of the vocabulary will prove challenging for readers as young as eight. Older children will nevertheless find this a wonderfully helpful resource.

Quill & Quire

Striking, lucid, and deceptively simple.

School Library Journal

This introduction to the five kingdoms of living things does an excellent job of helping young readers understand how scientists organize and classify all living things. ... Large-sized, both handsome and useful, this is an outstanding collaboration of author and illustrator.

Kirkus Reviews

Other titles by Rochelle Strauss

Other titles by Margot Thompson