Of all our childhood memories, few are quite as thrilling as those of climbing trees. Scampering up the trunk and spying on the world from the green shelter of the canopy made it seem as if we were made for trees, and trees for us. In adulthood, trees retain their power, their waves of green breaking the monotony of a cityscape, their autumn transformations taking our breath away.
In this volume, the trees that have enriched our lives finally get their due, through a focus on the humble leaves that serve, in a sense, as their public face. The Book of Leaves offers a visually stunning and scientifically engaging guide to six hundred of the most impressive and beautiful leaves from around the world. Each leaf is reproduced here at its actual size in full-colour photographs taken on a lightbox and is accompanied by details of the range, distribution, abundance and habitat of the tree on which it's found, as well as brief scientific and historical accounts. From the familiar friends of our gardens to the giants of the deep woods, The Book of Leaves brings the forest to life – and to our living rooms – as never before.
"Meticulously illustrated [...] Coombes's five-pound compendium [...] gets my vote for the book I'd be most likely to take on a hike in the woods, provided I had a pack animal."
– Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times