Take The Lorax, but make it feminist and add in some scientific method and ecotourism… and you have Heather Lang’s THE LEAF DETECTIVE.

“We had already been to the moon and back and nobody had been to the top of a tree”.

At least not in the rainforests.

So in the 1970s, young field biologist Margaret “Canopy Meg” Lowman decided to be the first pioneer.

With Jana Christy’s magical illustrations and Heather Lang’s gentle prose, THE LEAF DETECTIVE discusses the magic nature held for little girl Meg; and addresses the misogyny she faced in college and as a female trailblazer in her field in a matter-of-fact way.

Peppered with fun facts about rainforests (printed on leaves, of course), this picture book has enough variance of text and illustration to engage children across a broad age range. 

Lang presents trees and the rainforest canopy as the magnificent and misunderstood creatures they are, introducing the concepts of biodiversity, medicinal plants, and the scientific method in accessible language that will intrigue young readers.

THE LEAF DETECTIVE is not just a story of scientific exploration and discovery, but a story of belief in oneself and investment in others. Lowman’s innovation and advocacy transformed not only how we see the rainforest, but developing economies all over the globe.

This book is out now from Calkins Creek.

Thank you very much for the review copy! I received it to evaluate for the 2021 Cybils.

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