Small Friends Books Series 4 Read Description

The Forest in the Tree

How Fungi Shape the Earth

October 2020
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    20th October 2020
  • ISBN 9781486313310
  • Language English
  • Pages 48 pp.
  • Size 9" x 9"
  • Images color illus throughout

This is a story about trees and fungi connected through a "wood wide web" told by one tiny fungal spore.

A little fungus meets a baby cacao tree and they learn to feed each other. They cooperate with a forest of plants and a metropolis of microbes in the soil. But when drought strikes can they work together to survive?

The fourth book in the Small Friends Books series, this science-adventure story explores the Earth-shaping partnerships between plants, fungi and bacteria.


  • A beautifully illustrated science-adventure story, created in collaboration with scientists
  • Engages children in the invisible world of microbes
  • "The Science Behind the Story" section allows for deeper exploration of the scientific concepts underpinning the story
  • Teacher Notes available to support the use of this book in the classroom
  • The Small Friends Books series combines cutting-edge scientific research, rich narrative and beautiful illustrations to tell stories that describe symbiotic partnerships between microbes and larger life forms.

Ailsa Wild

Ailsa Wild creates stories for theater and paper pages. She loves collaborating with acrobats, scientists and children and her favorite question is ... But why?

Aviva Reed

Aviva Reed is a multi-disciplinary visual ecologist who creates immersive experiences to explore complex science.

Briony Barr

Briony Barr is a conceptual artist, designer and interdisciplinary thinker, who is fascinated in the relationships between large and small.

Gregory Crocetti

Gregory Crocetti combines his microbial ecology experience with science education skills in an attempt to teach the world that microbes are marvelous.

picture book; fungi; spore; microbes; bacteria; symbiotic partnerships