Discusses the plants, animals, and characteristics of the tundra biome.
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 tundra areas on a world map and learn about plants like arctic poppies, mosses, and lichens. Another chapter introduces tundra animals; for example, the gray wolf, the caribou, the arctic fox, and the prolific mosquito. Stressing conservation, the chapter on people (including the Inuit) explains the fragility of the tundra, as global warming threatens and humans drill for oil. Especially striking are photos of an almost invisible white ptarmigan against snow and a close-up of bright red-orange cloudberries. Readers will meet ecologist Wendy Eisner, a scientist who studies frozen pollen to predict change in the tundra. 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.
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