Children's Literature - Barbara L. TalcroftProduced in the UK, the "World about Us: Geography" series offers information on ecosystems of the earth for younger students at varying reading levels. Each book defines the system, explores its plants and animals, and discusses its value to humans, as well as threats to its existence and possibilities for the future. Large pages display two paragraphs and two illustrations (mostly brightly-colored photos) with introductions to the spreads and picture captions in a prominent bold font for early readers, while providing, in smaller text, further information for more sophisticated readers. In Rivers and Lakes, beginning scientists can enjoy learning about Earth's water cycle and the stages of a river's journey to the sea, creating new land, mud flats, and deltas. Many young environmentalists may not realize the power of rivers to carve channels, caves, and canyons, while providing habitats for water wildlife like otters, salmon, and dragonflies; people use waterways to transport goods and irrigate crops. The series focuses on future change (lakes and rivers are becoming polluted and global warming will increase flooding) and, in this volume, ways to protect the world's great rivers to ensure power, fresh water, and sport as well as to control flooding (as with the Thames Barrier near London). Extra features are a short review quiz, a glossary for older readers, and key words to focus discussion for younger ones. In general, the series is eye-catching, its brief presentations making a good introduction to Earth's ecosystems, while offering many topics for further research.
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