In addition to his extensive instrumental work (notably with the Night Heron Consort), Steve Schuch does a lot of children's entertaining, including having written several books, and Trees of Life, subtitled "songs of friendship & the earth," is his long-promised children's album "for families, children & educators K-5." Schuch is as interested in entertaining parents as children, so some of his songs will pass over the heads of his younger listeners. Also, he has a social agenda, devoting his lyrics to environmental concerns. "Turn the World Around" is a simple enough expression of the circularity of nature, while "Ibis the Whale," a story song about a whale caught in a fishing net, is more pointed. Children will respond to that tale with some concern (there's a happy ending, of course), and they are likely to react with delight to the sillier numbers, such as "The Forest Is a Wonderful Place," "The Garden Round," and the pun-filled "The Animal Song," which doubles as a game of identifying all the animal names hidden in the lyrics. Schuch is an earnest singer playing in a familiar folk style, often employing a children's chorus to signal singalongs that listeners can join in on.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann