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Through Fun and Games at, Children Learn That “Because of Me, There Grows a Tree”

OAKLAND, NJ – Toy Fair 2008 – Learn that trees are treasures too with the world of Treetures®. Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. (NYSE:RUS) and its subsidiary Russ Berrie U.S. Gift, Inc., has partnered with the Penguin Young Readers Group and Judith Hope Blau, LLC to plant a new line of Treetures products featuring your ticket to an innovative “Tree-Dimensional” universe.

Kids will have a blast as they learn about the environment and how they can make a difference at the Treetures interactive website (! Each Treetures product features a recycled hang tag with a special code that lets them into this virtual “green space.” Here kids can branch out and play a variety of educational games, learn more about trees and earn their very own "Green Hearts" to unlock even more ecological entertainment!

The more Green Hearts you receive, the more will be revealed about all your Treetures friends. Children can visit their Treetures friends at their homes in Nutley Grove, explore the ecosystem of the Magic Treeture Forest and even plant a “virtual tree.” With every Green Heart they earn, the more your child begins to understand the importance of a healthy Earth.

Based on the characters from the series of books created by Judith Hope Blau, Treetures are dedicated to educating children about the way a tree functions and how trees, plant life, birds, animals and insects are keeping our earth healthy. By learning the names and jobs of each Treeture creature, kids learn about trees and how important they are to our home on Earth. Twigs, the Treeture Teacher, will teach them about caring for trees and helping them grow. Then kids can look to Sprig, the Treedom Fighter, for tips on keeping the forests safe and healthy.

Treetures are about fun, learning and making a difference. From plush pals to gardening tools, RUSS brings these tiny tree friends to life! With help from RUSS and Treetures, everyone can help turn the dream of filling forests, cities and towns with healthy trees into a reality. Russ Berrie and Judith Hope Blau will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales to the nonprofit, American Forests’ Global ReLeaf fund to plant trees in the counties of purchase. As part of a unique commitment, trees will also be planted in select communities

The 2008 Treetures line includes:

    (Available: April 2008, Approximate Retail Price: $15)
    Your seedling will have a forest of fun with the whimsical plush Treetures pals. This caring collection features eight of the Magic Forest’s familiar friends including Sprig, Blossom, Roothie, Petals, Woody, Phloemina, Cholorphyllis and Steward. Dressed just right for their special tree keeping jobs, each of these bright and colorful plush characters features a Treetures acorn on its paw pad and is packaged in its own acorn planter/carrying case. Your child can plant a real tree seedling in the acorn planter that comes with each plush. Join Blossom as she helps the wind spread tree pollen so that baby trees can be born. Cheer, “Grow Tree Grow,” with Roothie, the Rooter and find out why the cool Street Treeture, Steward, gets a medal for bravery.

    (Available: April 2008, Approximate Retail Price: $8)
    Show others how to give back to the environment by sharing your tree planting spirit with Treetures Backpack Clips. Miniature versions of the Treetures family easily attach to your backpack so you can bring your tiny forest guardian with you everywhere you go!

    (Available: April 2008, Approximate Retail Price: $8 )
    Save your place in the stories of Nutley Grove with Treetures Bookmarks. Your friendly Treeture pal will mark the spot in any book you read; reminding you how important it is to plant something new.

    (Available: April 2008, Approximate Retail Price: $25)
    Plant a tree for you and me with the Treetures Gardening Tote Set. Inside the tote you’ll get the gear you need to turn a tiny seed into a beautiful tree. With gloves, garden tools, a watering can and a little bit of patience, you’ll learn about the importance of trees, tree planting and tree care.

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Russ Berrie and Company, Inc., a leader in the infant and juvenile and gift industries, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries design, develop, and distribute a variety of innovative gift, infant and juvenile products to specialty and mass market retailers worldwide. Known for its teddy bears and other plush animals, the Company's gift and infant and juvenile lines are comprised of a diverse range of everyday, seasonal, and occasion-themed products that help people celebrate the milestones in their lives. The Company operates offices, showrooms, and distribution centers all over the world and trades on the NYSE under the symbol RUS.

Developed by the children’s author, illustrator and toy inventor, Judith Hope Blau, the nonprofit Treetures Environmental Education Program made its national debut on Arbor Day, April 26th 1991, when they joined President Bush's America the Beautiful National Tree Program. They helped launch a world wide tree planting program called Trees Around the World, sponsored by Rotary International. The Treeture Program continues to work with the public, nonprofit organizations and the US Forest Service to bring its message to children. In 2000, The Treeture Environmental Education Program became a national partner of MILLENNIUM GREEN, a White House Council for the Millennium conservation project. This special program reached out to the public to encourage stewardship and the planting of trees and gardens throughout the world. Treetures represents an environmental education effort with a direct focus on trees. Treetures make up a community of whimsical characters that are dedicated to carrying the message of tree planting and tree care. The objective of the Treeture program is to encourage both children and adults to improve the environment through their personal actions.

The Treetures Environmental Education Program arranges for Treetures material and/or costumes for events sponsored by schools, organizations and communities, nationally and internationally.