School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-7-The first in a series about biosphere reserves (places designated by UNESCO as representative ecosystems that should be preserved and protected), this book is more scientific than other comparable offerings on the Galpagos. The wildlife, geology, and natural history of the islands are clearly explained, with technical terms defined in the text. Darwin's theory of evolution is described in age-appropriate language. The last chapter discusses writing a science report. The full-color photographs are clear and informative but generally quite small; the placement of text and illustrations is not always easy to follow; and blue and gray backgrounds on some pages make the text somewhat difficult to read. There is an extensive bibliography, although most of the titles are more than five years old. Millicent Selsam's Land of the Giant Tortoise (Four Winds, 1977; o.p.) is still pertinent, and Ann McGovern's Swimming with Sea Lions (Scholastic, 1992) and Phyllis Root and Maxine McCormick's Galpagos Islands (Crestwood, 1989) have far more impressive illustrations, but Litteral's volume is a worthwhile purchase because of its scientific slant and up-to-date information.-Kathleen McCabe, East Meadow Public Library, NY
Mary Harris VeederWith numerous color photographs to draw in younger readers, this first volume in the Biosphere Reserve series covers the animals, plants, and geology of the Galapagos Islands. The text discusses the most well known inhabitants, such as tortoises and finches, but also gives a historical overview of the islands' significance and examples of scientific studies currently being done there. Scientific terms are clearly explained, and particular species are ecologically contextualized. A six-page chapter on writing a science report gives ideas for topics and excellent advice on writing and revising. The suggestions for further reading include some particularly designated for advanced readers. If future volumes are as good as this one, a combination of attractive photography, solid science, current research, and advice to writers, the series will be a welcome aid to school libraries.
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