Something Wonderful

Something Wonderful
Hardcover, 10 x 10, 48 pages.
ISBN: 9780999896013.

By Matt Ritter , Nayl Gonzalez

This educational and interactive picture book immerses the reader in the strange and interwoven lifecycles of the rainforest. The beautifully illustrated pages follow the journey of a fig seedling making its own roots and leaves, growing strong, and eventually replacing the giant tree that was its host. As it produces flowers and fruit, it attracts pollinators. A delectable fig is hungrily eaten by a passing toucan who, upon flight, aimlessly drops a seed into the treetops below, beginning the fig’s lifecycle once again.

Readers will discover additional scientific information about the pollination process, insects, and animals in an illustrated section at the end of the book, and can play a “seek and find” game by locating the elusive red-eyed tree frog on each page of the story. With its engaging style and abundant imagery, Something Wonderful teaches the interdependence of rainforest ecology in an easy-to-follow, captivating story.



"Impressively informative, effectively presented, Something Wonderful is an extraordinary, memorable, and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Environmental Studies picture book collections." Midwest Book Review
"A great choice for classroom units on life cycles, symbiosis, and rain forest ecosystems." Booklist
"Ritter’s narrative offers condensed but informative text...Each page is executed with scientific precision, and an entire canopy of forest greens and brown tree bark are shown in panoramic spreads...A gorgeous-looking lesson that will satisfy kids and parents alike.” Kirkus
“By bringing children closer to nature—the complex nature of the tropics—this book both educates and delights! It is a joy for people of all ages to discover together.” Peter H. Raven, U.S. National Medal of Science Recipient, Former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
"Using his extensive knowledge as a botany professor and natural history writer, Ritter crafts a riveting narrative about a relatively obscure subject, catering to young readers with an interest in the natural world. Parents and educators will eagerly share this vivid picture book with budding botanists." Booklife
"A fig seed falls in the rain forest in this smart nature tale about the germination of grand wonders...With lines that evoke graphic novels, the illustrations come in gradients of green, vivifying the vibrant, varied ecosystem--and don't miss the frog hidden on each page!" Foreword Reviews
"This book tells complex stories of the rainforest in beautifully clear ways." Nalini M. Nadkarni, author of Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees, Professor, University of Utah
"From the first golden seed to the plop of the Chestnut-mandibled toucan's poop, this book shows the mysterious and intricate entwinements and cycles of a tropical rainforest." Sharon Lovejoy, author, illustrator, and recipient of the National Outdoor Book Award in Children's Literature
"Something Wonderful helps our children understand the life history of strangling figs, the most impressive tropical rainforest trees. I can't imagine a better way to save these forests than to make children love them and all the organisms in them. Thank you, Matt Ritter and Nayl Gonzalez. And thank you to the frog!" Francis Hallé, author of Poetic Botany and In Praise of Plants, Professor, University of Montpellier, France
"Wow! Matt and Nayl have hit a home run with this book. It will draw children deep into the web of life and help them discover the fascinating concept of mutualism!" Chipper Wichman, President, National Tropical Botanical Garden
+ Show all reviews
Categories Children | Nature

About the Authors

Matt Ritter

Matt Ritter

Matt Ritter is a biology professor in California. He is the author of several books including California Plants and A Californian’s Guide to the Trees among Us.  He has an infectious love of trees and all things botanical. He lives in San Luis Obispo, California.

Nayl Gonzalez

Nayl Gonzalez

Nayl Gonzalez is a first-generation college graduate of California Polytechnic State University with a degree in Forestry and Natural Resources. Her love of living things is expressed through her passion for art. Nayl lives and works in San Luis Obispo, California.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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