Text and pop-up illustrations depict the rich variety of plant and animal life found in a tropical rain forest.
School Library Journal~ r 3-- Turn the page, lift the flap, and pull the tab to watch wings unfold, birds fly, mammals scurry, and enemies overtake their prey. Animal Homes takes a three-dimensional peek at animal life underground, in hives, in trees, and inside a beaver lodge. Strangely, the weaverbird, pictured on the cover, is the only animal not native to North America. Simple text mentions each animal, its home, and a few basic behavioral characteristics. Explore a Tropical Forest is more elaborate. Readers are constantly discovering another animal lurking behind the tropical foliage. Vivid full-page illustrations of a rain forest immerse viewers in a world of luxuriant greens slashed with brilliant flashes of color. The first pop-out section shows a cross section of the rain forest, and each successive two-page vertical spread pictures specific levels of the forest including the canopy, understory, and floor, as well as the animals and plants that exist in each habitat. The last paragraph briefly reminds readers of the rapidly disappearing rain forest, but doesn't explain why rain forests are important or how readers can help save them. However, used in natural science units or with individual nature enthusiasts, these books can develop an awareness of animal habitats. They should also create enough curiosity to inspire young readers to pursue other nature books that contain more in-depth information about animals and their habitats. --Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ
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