The Lumberjack’s Beard by Duncan Beedie

We absolutely love The Lumberjack’s Beard! A lumberjack needs to make a living but how does it affect the woodland animals when he cuts down the trees, burns the leaves and branches and sends the logs down the river? This beautifully illustrated, entertaining and humorous story shows how the ecosystem is affected by tree felling and what can be done to help reduce the impact.

The Lumberjack's Beard - Story SnugThe Story: Big Jim Hickory, the lumberjack, cuts down trees for a living. One evening a homeless bird knocks on his door so Big Jim offers him a home in his beard. Two more woodland animals move in and Jim’s beard gets rather crowded. Can he come up with a solution to their housing problem, both in the short term and in the long term?

The Lumberjack’s Beard subtly conveys an important message in an entertaining way. Once Big Jim realises how much his work affects the bird, the porcupine and the beaver he resolves the problem, initially at personal cost. A relationship grows between him and the animals, our favourite double page spread comes at the end of the book and shows how Big Jim and his friends spend each season together watching new trees grow.

We love the colour scheme in Duncan Beedie’s illustrations. As befits the story he uses earthy colours and mixes fabulous double page spreads with smaller illustrations. Big Jim’s routine is the same every day but the illustrations wonderfully portray the little ways that this routine is disrupted by his new visitors, his beard becomes much less well groomed as the story progresses!

This would be a great book to use in the classroom as part of a topic on animals and the environment. It shows in a lighthearted way how important trees are to birdlife and wildlife. A fun classroom activity would be for the children to research how important woods and trees are for other animals and birds not mentioned in the story as well as insects and people. You could make a fabulous classroom display or a class book using all the different animals / birds the children have chosen!

Age Range: 4 +

Author / Illustrator: Duncan Beedie

Thank you to Templar Books for sending us a review copy of this fantastic story with its wonderfully entertaining eco message.

28 thoughts on “The Lumberjack’s Beard by Duncan Beedie

  1. Sounds like a lovely story – I’m always after eco- stories for the kids, so I’ll look this one up. When they are a bit older, then The Man Who Planted Trees would also be a good one to read – along the same lines, but more complex ☺

  2. I love the idea of making the animals a home in his big shaggy beard! This sounds fun. For middle grade readers, a funny squirrel story with an ecological theme is Lynne Rae Perkins’ NUTS TO YOU. You always find such wonderful books!

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