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REVIEW: How to Be More Tree: Essential Life Lessons for Perennial Happiness

By Hector MacKenzie

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Illustrated by Annie Davidson (Michael O'Mara Books; hardback £9.99)

How to Be More Tree
How to Be More Tree

Be more flexible. Be more patient. Be more positive.

Be more tree.

So goes the intriguing blurb to this sweet little hardback which draws on the "wisdom" of trees to offer life lessons that will make us happier and more resilient.

Trees have neither brains to think with nor nervous systems that cause them to feel things yet are undeniably clever. With an ability to adapt and to understand the strength of networks and mutually beneficial relationships, these silent beauties can tell us much with their natural ability to thrive – even when they find themselves in less than ideal environments.

Drawing from nature and with some beautiful illustrations of 60 trees from around the world, the short lessons, none more than two paragraphs long, offer tips about to adapt, survive and thrive as well as offering a cautionary tale about remembering to stop and smell the flowers while we can.

The elm can teach us the importance of asking for help when you need it. They call in an army of parasitic wasps when they're being attacked by caterpillars.

Acacias who look out for each other by producing a gas when they're being nibbled on by herbivores to warn their nearby friends. The Chinese pistache shows us the power in pacing ourselves.

From the importance of patience, to drawing strength from others, to weathering the storm, to dealing with life’s most persistent irritants, it's a celebration of the heroes of the forest.

Highly dippable, it's a handy wee source of inspiration.

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