Children's Literature - Bruce AdelsonThis exquisitely illustrated book, with a forward by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, succinctly demonstrates how animals, fish and plants, once considered on the brink of extinction, can recover and flourish with the help of conservationists, land owners, the federal government and the Endangered Species Act. We find snapshots of several animals, bald eagles, snail darters, gray wolves and falcons, all of which had their existence threatened by development, disease, unbridled hunting and/or pesticide ingestion. Galan's straight-forward prose aptly demonstrates how these and other species were steered back from the brink by human intervention. His words are accompanied by marvelous photographs, courtesy of the National Geographic Society. Not restricted to success stories, this book also relates the history of the passenger pigeon, a species that died out in 1914. Showing that endangered species protection is not restricted to appealing animals such as bears, Galan also discusses such little known creatures as the Louisiana pearl shell mussel and the Small Whorled Pogonia, a flower. Ideal for research projects, this book will help give your children an appreciation for the fragility of life on earth.
Children's Literature - Gisela JerniganBeautiful, realistic watercolors enhance this gentle portrayal of a father and son taking a walk through the forest near their house. The knowledgeable father helps his son identify and appreciate various trees on their way to "somebody I'd like you to meet," a huge black walnut. Most of the trees and many of the animals are labeled; helpful hints assist with recognition. An Author's Note relates that the story is based on Saunders' relationship with his tree-loving father.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalPreS-Gr 2A book that has a great deal to offer. While walking in the woods with his father, a boy learns to identify trees by their leaves and bark. The cozy text captures the warm feeling of sharing unrushed, quiet time with a parent. The folksy language, with words and phrases such as "reckon," "moseyed," and "stood for a spell," helps sustain the mood of a setting far removed from busy city streets. The text and illustrations work together exceptionally well in presenting factual information about the plants and animals of the forest. Several types of trees, with close-up views of their leaves, bark, and blossoms, as well as a butterfly, a spider, a squirrel, a deer, a caterpillar, and birds are depicted in vivid watercolors on well-designed, two-page spreads. The author and illustrator succeed in capturing the atmosphere of the woods and the reverence the characters feel for it. This book would work well with nonfiction titles about trees or with field guides. A good addition to any library, but particularly for those needing new material for Earth Day.Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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