The Big Caribou Herd: Life in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Sweeping watercolor panoramas reflect the author/illustrator's longtime interest in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the largest of more than 500 wildlife refuges in the United States, and one about the size of Maine. Using the narrative form of a year in the life of a caribou herd (and overusing the word "critical," a word some young readers may not have much context for), he introduces the biodiversity and interdependence of the life forms in this corner of Alaska. Some fourteen animals are profiled in an endnote, and the author also adds a note about his concern about possible drilling for oil in this preserve. Caribou information is embedded in the text so that a report writer might have to seek out facts, such as the fact that females in the immense caribou herd all give birth within the same few days, or that this is the only deer species in which both male and female have antlers. Hiscock's watercolor and pencil depictions of the landscape are dramatic and open, and his animals rely both on his sketched observations and on the work of photographers, whom he credits. A helpful map and the reserve's Web site are included. 2003, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 7 to 11.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Through beautiful windswept, panoramic watercolors, Hiscock takes readers to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, "one of the last truly wild places on earth." Using a story format, he follows the caribou on their annual spring journey from the Porcupine River valley to the refuge to have their young and graze on the summer grasses before returning once more to their winter home. In the course of their migration, the band of over 130,000 caribou must cross the Brooks Mountain Range and face many potential predators before reaching their calving ground. The author explains the relationship between predator and prey in this harsh habitat and the precarious existence of not only the animals but also of the land itself. It is this locale that is so hotly debated as the next drilling area for oil in the Alaskan wilderness. This book adds to the understanding of a seldom-written-about part of the world. It will be enjoyed by kids who want to learn more about Arctic animals and used by teachers looking to fill out a unit on this region.-Carol Foreman, Elbert School, CO Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590780107
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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