The Lumberjack's Beard - Story Snug
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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 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.


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28 responses to “The Lumberjack’s Beard by Duncan Beedie”


  1. S.L.O.A.H. avatar

    This sounds like a great picture book for Earth Day! Will definitely add it to my wish list. 🙂 #MMBC


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s perfect for Earth Day!


  2. Acorn Books avatar

    We have this one too 🙂 it’s such an important message that’s put across so well. We love the illustrations too. #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s such a beautiful, beautiful book 🙂


  3. Helena avatar

    What a lovely book. It made me think of other parts of the world too where people and animals are encroaching on one another. #TriedTested


    1. Catherine avatar

      This book could be the start of many 🙂


  4. Sarah MumofThree World avatar

    This sounds like a lovely story with a really important message too!


    1. Catherine avatar

      The message is covered so subtly, it doesn’t preach, just raises questions.


  5. The Breastest News avatar

    Aww this sounds like a lovely story and one which I’m sure my kids would love as their Daddy has a big beard 🙂
    #TriedTested


    1. Catherine avatar

      I hope that nothing is living in Daddy’s beard!!


  6. Jen avatar

    what an adorable book! I love the message. I want to read this with my kids now!


    1. Catherine avatar

      I hope you enjoy reading it. It is a lovely story 🙂


  7. suz avatar

    This looks a great story and I love your classroom learning ideas.
    Great review
    #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      Thanks Suz and thank you for tweeting about the post 🙂


  8. Yet Another Blogging Mummy avatar

    I love the messages that can be conveyed by children books. This looks a fab book #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s brilliant in the way it subtly delivers information 🙂


  9. Kate Holmes avatar

    The title is clever and intriguing. Sounds like a book with a message and I love how you give teaching suggestions too


    1. Catherine Friess avatar

      It’s a great title isn’t it. This book would be so brilliant to use in the classroom, I love it when a teaching idea is inspired by a book 🙂


  10. Robbie Cheadle avatar
    Robbie Cheadle

    Sounds like a lovely story. I posted this to my Facebook page @SirChocolateBooks.



  11. Chantelle Hazelden avatar
    Chantelle Hazelden

    This looks really fun, the front cover itself is very inviting! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe


    1. Catherine avatar

      The illustrations are brilliant. I absolutely love the colour scheme that Duncan has used. It’s perfect for the story 🙂


  12. Laurel avatar

    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!


    1. Catherine avatar

      We were very lucky that Templar sent this book. I’ve just looked for Nuts To You, the cover is gorgeous. It sounds like a great read 🙂


  13. Nic Wilson avatar

    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 ☺


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a great story to introduce the idea of the importance of trees for other wildlife. I’ve not heard of The Man Who Planted Trees. Thank you for the recommendation 🙂


    2. Duncan avatar

      My book is actually dedicated to Elzeard Bouffier from that very story!


      1. Catherine avatar

        Wow! I’ll look out for it 🙂

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