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Children's LiteratureThis combination story and reference text explores the multitude of animal and plant life existent in a bog. The story begins with a frog that hops onto the moss and incites two mosquitoes to fly away. One mosquito lands on a sundew plant and will likely be eaten, and the other rests on a horsetail. And so the story goes until we return to the frog that snatches up a cricket and hops onto a fern. The remaining pages include drawings of insect, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and plants found throughout the earlier pages of the book. This section serves as a sort of field guide that encourages readers to peruse the illustrations (and their backyards) to find these creatures. The text ends with a more scientific description of a bog as well as a list of books and Internet resources available should young readers wish to explore further. The illustrations are done in watercolor and provide realistic depictions of critters and plants one might find in a bog. The story is not extremely complex, but it depicts nicely the natural process of consumption among living things. It is much livelier than a science textbook that might attempt to describe the same concept. 2004, Charlesbridge, Ages 3 to 8.
—Wendy Glenn, Ph.D.