In his wonderful story of Elzeard Bouffier, an imaginary yet wholly believableshepherd, Jean Giono perhaps hoped to inspire a reafforestation programmethat would renew the whole earth. The story opposes the tree-planter, the earthhusband,to the makers of war. At the same time it shows us all that is best inman’s relationship with nature – both parable and manual – and with his fellowman. For Giono, nature is a living force in which man can rediscover the depthand harmony he has lost in urban life. Michael McCurdy’s beautiful woodcuts,which accompany the text, have helped establish this book as a unique editionof a unique and inspiring story for all times.When a Guardian survey recently revealed what writers would have liked tohave written, War Horse author Michael Morpurgo plumped for thisextraordinary title. The Man Who Planted Trees is now long establised as aliterary, and enviromental classic.