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USDA publications shine on US Government Bookstore bestseller list

Posted by Kathryn Sosbe, 
Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service, on 
March 5, 2014 at 10:45am

A favorite U.S. Forest Service book for kids is “Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?” which explains to children that, yes, there are reasons to cut trees. The U.S. Government Bookstore, the place where you can buy the 2014 Counterterrorism Calendar for $20 or a loose-leaf copy of the Export Administration Regulation 2013 edition for $199, released its list of best-selling publications for 2013 that includes several items published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


“Why Would Anyone Cut A Tree Down?” is written by Roberta Burzynski, who works in the U.S. Forest Service’s Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry unit. The book shows children the life cycle of trees and how trees are a renewable resource. The 41-page book with 28 full-color illustrations can be used by parents and teachers along with online activities and lessons. Colorfully illustrated by Juliette Watts, the $10 book is ideal for parents, teachers and children. Burzynski also wrote the popular “Woodsy Owl’s ABCs” that is meant to be read by an adult to children.


The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Missouri also created a children’s book, “The Little Acorn,” which made it on the government’s bestseller list. It’s a wonderful story that follows an acorn as it falls from an oak tree, is gathered up by a squirrel, is buried, and eventually sprouts and begins its own journey as a tree that provides for another generation of squirrels and other wildlife. Along the way, children learn how soil, water, plants and animals are all important pieces of the life cycle. Part of the mystery of nature is solved in a few, beautifully illustrated pages. A separate teacher’s guide is available to assist in presenting the science-based concepts in the story. The $5 booklet is written by Christa Kauble and illustrated by Mary Jo Tannehill.


“How to Prune Trees” is a short, how-to manual that helps landowners learn the best way to cut back a tree to produce strong, healthy and attractive plants. The helpful, easy-to-understand guide is another product from the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry unit. Revised in 2012, the 29-page illustrated guide is on sale for just $2 and obviously continues to be a bookstore favorite.


The Northeastern Area also has a hit with “Timber Management Field Book,” used since the last 1960s and the most popular field tool for foresters to accomplish field work. Subjects include timber volume, site indexes, surveying and curing date, reforestation, scaling and other silvicultural information. The 82-page book goes for $14.


The revised Forest Service book, “How to Recognize Hazardous Defects in Trees,” is a favorite of fledgling landowners. It helps homeowners and land managers recognize hazardous defects in trees and offers suggestions on possible corrective action. World class advice for just $1.75.


“Let’s Eat for the Health of It” is a package of 100 bulletins ($61) developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The consumer-friendly guide is based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and is intended for healthy Americans ages 2 years and older, as well as for Americans who are at increased risk of chronic disease.


A favorite U.S. Forest Service book for kids is “Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?” which explains to children that, yes, there are reasons to cut trees.  (U.S. Forest Service)The 2010 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” is a perennial favorite, according to the Bookstore. The guidelines, published by USDA and Health and Human Services every five years, offers evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity. ChooseMyPlate.gov is a comprehensive resource designed to help consumers apply the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


Resources available to help promote the 2010 Guidelines include the popular 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series and the award-winning SuperTracker, a diet and physical tracking tool designed to help Americans make informed food decisions.


“Que Hay en Su Plato?” is the Spanish edition of the “What’s On Your Plate?” mini-poster. The 8.6-by-11-inch, $6 poster features the MiPlato icon, a simple, visual reminder to help Spanish-language audiences think about healthier foods at meal time. The poster includes selected Dietary Guidelines messages to promote healthier eating habits and regular physical activity.


In addition to the Government Bookstore, publications also are available on USDA's websites.

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