Children's LiteratureThis book is one in a series entitled Biomes of North America. Unfortunately, this is not an eyecatching title. Nonetheless, this fascinating description of the cold, treeless plain near the top of the world, called the tundra, draws the reader in from the first page. The author engages the readers by inviting them on a walk with her, on which she discovers many things. Along the way, she uses the seasons as the backdrop to describe this both breathtaking and brutal area. The shades of black and white in the illustrations combine with photography that resembles the work of a gifted National Geographic photographer. The book is informative, introducing vocabulary particular to the terrain, vegetation and life on the tundra. This book will be a welcome addition to the school library. It is likely to be frequently used, not just for the information it provides, but the pleasure it gives. 2001, Carolrhoda Books, Ages 8 to 14, $??. Reviewer: Kathleen Orosz
School Library JournalGr 4-6-A visually pleasing title with plenty of clear, colorful photographs of the biome's flora and fauna throughout the year. There is a bit of confusion, however, over the distinction between "Arctic tundra" and "tundra" in general, which is shown to extend through the Aleutian Islands in far Western Alaska. The tundra does not experience the severe loss of winter sunlight that is common within the Arctic Circle. Hair-splitting aside, this book fills a niche. Allan Fowler's Arctic Tundra (1996) and Michael H. Forman's Arctic Tundra (1997, both Children's) are for a younger audience. Elizabeth Kaplan's The Tundra (Benchmark, 1995) and Philip Steele's Tundra (Carolrhoda, 1997) are more appropriate for older students.-Mollie Bynum, formerly at Chester Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, AK Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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