School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3-5-Animals living in colonies are the focus of these short, simply written introductions. In both, a page of large-print text alternates with another page of one or more color photos. Beehive briefly describes the tasks performed within the hive, bee communication, honey production, honeycomb construction, plant pollination, and the ecological and economical importance of honeybees. Coral Reef discusses some general characteristics of coral polyps, how and where these reefs are formed, types, representative plants and animals, and the damage caused to these colonies by starfish and humans. While the writing in these loosely organized titles is generally clear, both omit vital data. Beehive merely states that the insects "are six-legged creatures," while the glossary complicates the matter by stating incorrectly that they "often have" six legs and wings. Coral does not describe the structure of an individual coral polyp and erroneously states that "Algae are simple, tiny creatures made up of only one cell." Adequate-quality photos illustrate the texts but the snapshot-sized pictures of children superimposed on most of them (presumably the "field trip" aspect) are distracting decorations. Better titles on these subjects include Gail Gibbons's The Honey Makers (Morrow, 1997), Joanna Cole's The Magic School Bus inside a Beehive (Scholastic, 1996), Sylvia Johnson's Coral Reefs (Lerner, 1984; o.p.), and Paul Fleisher's Coral Reef (Benchmark, 1997).-Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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