Life in the Boreal Forest

Overview

The great northern forest—the boreal forest—is home to a unique ecosystem of animals and plants. It covers one-third of the earth’s total forest area and is home to so many birds that it is known as “North America’s bird nursery.”

The forest is a treasure trove of riches, but it’s threatened by increased human development and climate changes. This gorgeous book teaches readers about the boreal forest and reminds them that it’s up to us to make ...

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Overview

The great northern forest—the boreal forest—is home to a unique ecosystem of animals and plants. It covers one-third of the earth’s total forest area and is home to so many birds that it is known as “North America’s bird nursery.”

The forest is a treasure trove of riches, but it’s threatened by increased human development and climate changes. This gorgeous book teaches readers about the boreal forest and reminds them that it’s up to us to make sure the beauty and bounty survive.

2009 Parents' Choice Recommended winner

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This non-fiction book shows why the boreal forest, home to a unique ecosystem of plants and animals, is as big and important as tropical rain forests.”—USA Today

“Gorgeously intricate illustrations perfectly complement equally evocative text in this introduction to the great northern, or boreal, forest, which sprawls across the entire northern hemisphere…Guiberson and Spirin manage to successfully convey the beauty and majesty of this forest and its denizens in two dimensions, and a list of organizations devoted to preserving the forest provides further information. An author’s note adds urgency to the message about the importance of preservation.”—Booklist, Starred Review

“Taking readers through the seasons, Guiberson and Spirin present a verbal and pictorial treasury for nature lovers and young researchers alike.”—School Library Journal

“Beautiful and useful.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Each of the stunning paintings in this catalog of the Boreal Forest, the great northern forest, is breathtakingly beautiful. They are in the style of Audubon and other great naturalist painters. They breathe life into the creatures, give texture to their fur and feathers and capture a sense of place…”

                                             —The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—A vast, yet endangered, ecosystem flourishes in this slim, elegant pictorial book. Spirin's dramatic, realistic illustrations spill over the pages, compressing Guiberson's lyrical text into bamboo-toned columns on the side. Exploding with the sounds of the boreal forest (in spring, a Tennessee warbler sings "tika tika swee swee!" while a moose "squish squosh"-es in a beaver pond), the text describes the interaction of entwined lives in this special ecosystem. (One small note—the air hole depicted in the snow-covered beaver lodge seems a tad large—a predator could gain easy entry.) Taking readers through the seasons, Guiberson and Spirin present a verbal and pictorial treasury for nature lovers and young researchers alike.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805077186
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.90 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Brenda Z. Guiberson has written many books for children, including Cactus Hotel, Spoonbill Swamp, Moon Bear and Disasters. As a child, Brenda never thought she wanted to be a writer—her dreams tended more toward jungle explorer. She graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in English and Fine Art. She started thinking about writing for children when her son went to elementary school, and she volunteered in his class and in the school library. After taking exciting trips that involved a fifty-foot cactus, hungry alligators and sunset-colored spoonbills, she wanted to create books for children that would be like a field trip. Her books are full of well-researched detail, and Brenda sees this research as an adventure—one that allows her to be a jungle explorer at last. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
 
Gennady Spirin has been awarded five Gold Medals from the Society of Illustrators and has been chosen four times for the New York Times Best Illustrated Books list. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Reading Group Guide

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND ACTIVITIES

1. A biome is an area on the Earth’s surface that has a certain set of characteristics. Locate a map showing biomes and identify the boreal forests.

2. Why is the boreal forest important?

3. What’s green and growing in the boreal forest?

4. How does the boreal forest affect people?

5. How do people affect the boreal forest?

6. Compile a list of animal names from the book. Using these names, make a food chain for the boreal forest. Identify each animal as a primary, secondary, or tertiary consumer.

7. Locate and print an article on the boreal forest that has been in the news in the past year.

8. Some animals are able to survive winter by growing winter coats, but their coats are not the kind that people wear. Animals’ coats are the result of growing thicker fur. How do the winter coats of the arctic fox, wolf, and caribou protect them?

9. The animals in the boreal forest are specially adapted to live in extremely harsh winters and moderate summers. Some animals have structural adaptations that help them survive in the boreal forest. How do the lynx, wolf, and bear adapt?

10. The ways that different human societies view the boreal forest and exploit it varies enormously from one part of the forest to another. How do Americans and Canadians regard the boreal forest? How do their views compare to those of the Russians and Swedes?

11. Why are conifers the dominant trees of the taiga? What are some common diseases of the conifer? Which ones can be prevented? Which ones can be deadly?

12. “Beavers haul branches underwater to eat when thick ice traps them for months in their frozen lodge and pond.” What do the beavers eat from the logs? How do their bodies process this nutrient?

13. What is the future of the boreal forest?

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