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Children's LiteratureDr. Roger Powell, biologist from North Carolina State University, is unflappable. He has to be, since he studies black bears, foremost citizens of a temperate forest biome. Johansson introduces a fine overview of just what a temperate forest is. While Powell and Earthwatch volunteers trap, tranquilize, collar and release the bear, the young reader realizes this is just the beginning. The writer defines biome: a region where certain plants and animals survive because they are well-suited to the climate—temperature, rainfall and wind conditions. Temperate forests have four distinct and evenly timed seasons, the soil is rich with rotted debris and a top layer of rotted leaves, the rainfall is between thirty and sixty inches, and the growing season is about nine months long. The writer describes the community of animals, plants and insects that make up the food web, as well as their canopy, understory, or underground, habitats, plus how they survive winters. This is a well-researched, readable book with enough overlap, repetition and capsulation of facts for painless learning. The illustration is remarkable, combining color photographs, line drawings and colorful margins. Lists of animal facts, a glossary, bibliography, internet addresses plus a complete index rounds out a fine book for young readers or researchers. 2004, Enslow Publishers Inc, Ages 8 to 12.