CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 26. . . .March 13, 2015
“The Natural World” series includes a book about each continent and explains the biomes found there. Within each biome, the animals, plants, terrain and climate, both temperature ranges and rainfall are listed. Animals and plants that live within each biome are mentioned, some with supporting photographs. Not only are the land biomes detailed, but the aquatic ecosystems, both freshwater and saltwater, are also explained featuring excellent photos of animals found in those areas. Pages explaining how the ecosystems balance or how they have been thrown off balance make for interesting reading. Interaction maps of how the ecosystem is interconnected serve as a springboard for readers to create their own web by trying one of the on-line activities. Human impact and details on how to conserve nature are important features of this series and could initiate an ecological project.
Australia is a well-researched book. The unique animal and plant-life are featured for each biome on the continent. Young readers will be especially interested in the aquatic life, such as the whale shark, reef stonefish with its unusual camouflage and poisonous dorsal fin, as well as the box jellyfish and green sea turtle, so named for its green fat.
South America includes the unique animals found on the Galapagos Islands, like the tortoise than can weigh up to 500 pounds and can live for more than 100 years. This continent has the largest rainforest in the world that can be seen by astronauts in space. Chaparral, desert, forest, tundra, mountains and grassland cover the rest of the continent. Some exciting animals featured are the Blue Morpho butterfly, green anaconda, poison dart frog, and the marine iguana. Most significant is the human impact on the Amazon rainforest, with 20% of it lost to slash and burn land-clearing techniques over the last 40 years. Readers can learn how this destruction has affected wildlife and the ecosystem.
Sherry Faller is a retired teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.