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Kalman, Bobbie and Janine Schaub
Niagara Falls (Ont.), Crabtree Publishing, 1992. 32pp, library binding, ISBN 0-86505-554-8 (library binding) $20.95, ISBN 0-86505-580-7 (paper) $9.95. (The Primary Ecology series). CIP


Kalman, Bobbie and Janine Schaub
Niagara Falls (Ont.), Crabtree Publishing, 1992. 32pp, library binding, ISBN 0-86505-555-6 (library binding) $20.95, ISBN 0-86505-581-5 (paper) $9.95. (The Primary Ecology series). CIP

Grades 4 to 6/Ages 9 to 11

Reviewed by Stan R. Kozak

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

How Trees Help Me and Squirmy Wormy Composters are the first two books in Crabtree's "Primary Ecology" series. One of the authors, Kalman, is well established as a writer of children's non-fiction library books, mostly dealing with social studies topics.

These non-fiction resource books are well laid out with good illustrations, a glossary, an index and factual content. Though they are part of what the publisher has called a Primary ecology series, the reading level is definitely Junior.

Squirmy Wormy Composters fills a void, with all the worm composting going on in schools. The first page refers to worms as perfect pets, which, for the most part, is how these living creatures are best considered. The book outlines good care procedures and is a basic "how to" book for worm composting. Additional information about worms is also provided. One important section that is missing is how to liberate your worms properly when you no longer want them.

How Trees Help Me is also a good quality book that joins a number of other good tree books available at present. As its title implies, this is a "trees are here to be used by us" book. This predominant and shallow view of the world we live in is not the solution to the environmental mess in which we find ourselves. Nevertheless, How Trees Help Me does include some ecological concepts and a number of environmental concerns, making it a publication that goes beyond telling us the parts of a tree and how we use them.

Three additional titles in this series should have been released by the time this review is in print. They include Wonderful Water, The Air I Breathe and I Am a Part of Nature. The last I look forward to reading to see if it can present a non-human-centered view.

School librarians will find the titles reviewed good curriculum resources.

Stan R. Kozak is a science consultant with the Wellington County Board of Education in Guelph, Ontario

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