Children's Literature - Barbara L. TalcroftWith controlled vocabulary and short, simple sentences, this "Explore the Biomes" series is intended to engage the interest of middle readers with below-expectation reading levels and help them access information about varied ecological communities called "biomes." Each book contains five or six short chapters defining the biome, introducing native plants and animals, exploring the role of humans in that ecology, and then offering a "field guide" (quick facts) and a profile of a scientist who works in one of the biomes being studied. Following this formula, the authors have managed to make the brief text as lively as possible; color photos are generally well selected and of much greater interest than is usual in a series from this publisher. Readers will be able to identify desert areas on a world map and learn about desert plants like cacti and spinifex grass. Another chapter introduces desert animals; for example, scorpions, sidewinders, elf owls, and coyotes. Stressing conservation, the chapter on desert people explains the fragility of a desert and the drain on resources when humans build cities there. Especially striking are the photos of a blue-robed Tuareg leading his camel in the Sahara and a face-to-face look at a shaggy brown tarantula. Readers will meet Dr. Steve Goodman, a scientist who has worked in Madagascar studying mouse lemurs. These visually attractive books present biome overviews that should be colorful and appealing enough to inspire further research. Each title contains a glossary, a short bibliography, and an index.
Discusses the plants, animals, and characteristics of the desert biome.
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