Sam's Reviews > The Man Who Planted Trees

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
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's review
Jul 24, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: anyone
Read in July, 2007

The Man Who Planted Trees is a lovely little book by Jean Giono. I read my library's copy, a hardback published in 1985 by Chelsea Green. The story here is accompanied by beautiful woodcuts on almost every page, with lots of white space on the pages.

The story consists of a narrator recalling his several journeys across a deserted portion of Provence in France, between 1913 and 1945 or so. He meets a man there who is planting acorns in the desolate wastes, at a rate of about 100 per day. He is also raising various other trees to plant in the area. Returning 5 years later, he sees the area beginning to grow, and the man's work taking him farther and farther from his home, until he has to build a new little stone hut. The last time the narrator sees the man, his forest has grown well and covers over hundreds of sq km. Villages in the area are flourishing, and people are coming back to the region. Only the narrator and a few of his friends know of the old man's part in the forests appearance - most attribute it to some fluke of nature.

It's a simple story, well-written and lovely, made better by the pictures and the stylish printing.
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