Children's Literature - Annie Laura Smith
How do we keep our Earth, a collection of ecosystems, in balance? This book explores Earth's large community of living things and its habitats with an eye towards addressing that question. Topics range from "What is an ecosystem?" to "What is a rain forest without rain?" These topics cover the important role that science plays in the world around us. Sections on eco-careers, young scientists at work, and steps to take an eco-survey will help young readers put this information to work in their own lives. Relevant websites listed under the heading of "find it quick" point to additional information on environmental subjects, such as exploring Earth's biodiversity. A page of "fast facts" gives a summary of environmental information, while a glossary defines the scientific terms. The table of contents and a comprehensive index provide ready navigation for the topics. Spectacular color illustrations highlight fascinating international environmental facts. This book is part of the "Science Q&A" series, which illustrates how science touches and shapes our daily lives. The series addresses other environmental topics including Construction, Health, Light, Machines, and Weather. Reviewer: Annie Laura Smith
School Library Journal
A typical question-and-answer format is used to present these topics. The 20 questions per book range from simple ("What is a structure?" in Construction ) to complex ("What are absorption, reflection, and transmission?" in Light ), but with a single spread covering each question and answer, the information is cursory. For example, in Machines, the answer to question "How do machines help people at home?" only discusses microwave ovens. Many spreads suggest a URL for additional resources. An inset in each section offers supplementary facts or a hands-on activity such as checking a heart rate. In some cases, the instructions are difficult to follow or lack enough information. Photographs appear throughout; it's unfortunate that there are no graphics, charts, or diagrams to help clarify many of the answers and activities. The books include brief descriptions of two career options.