Tropical Rainforests

Tropical Rainforests

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by Seymour Simon
     
 

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Tropical rainforests are home to brilliantly colored birds and spider monkeys that swing like acrobats. Here, tiny tadpoles, lizards, and crabs live in sky-high penthouse mini-ponds formed in the leaves of rootless plants. The understory and forest floor swarm with insects, worms, frogs, toads, and millions of marching army ants. But beware! There are poisonous

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Overview

Tropical rainforests are home to brilliantly colored birds and spider monkeys that swing like acrobats. Here, tiny tadpoles, lizards, and crabs live in sky-high penthouse mini-ponds formed in the leaves of rootless plants. The understory and forest floor swarm with insects, worms, frogs, toads, and millions of marching army ants. But beware! There are poisonous butterflies, frogs, and insects; venomous snakes; and plants that can paralyze.

Now, you can enter this wild world! Award-winning science writer Seymour Simon has teamed up with the Smithsonian Institution to take you on an exotic, full-color photographic adventure.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
The author of over 250 books and the recipient of a lifetime achievement award for science writing for children, Simon opens this appealingly formatted and remarkably photographed book by asking readers to imagine they are surrounded by walls of damp greenery, hot under the sun, even in constant shade. This inviting description allows readers to feel welcome in an exotic world. The largest rainforests are found in Central and South America, central Africa, and Southeast Asia, with smaller ones throughout other tropical regions. Defined as four layers of vertical plants, each like a separate neighborhood, rainforests comprise about two percent of Earth's surface and support millions of animal species. From the top down, the layers are called emergent, canopy, understory, and forest floor. The book cites a few plants and animals specific to each layer and includes two to three relevant photographs. Two spreads are devoted to the Amazon River, the largest river in the world. With so many animals and plants to choose from, the author pares down to simple categories with brief, large-type statements about birds, sloths and a few other canopy mammals, bats, monkeys, and snakes. Dangers, such as poisons, are also briefly addressed. The text ends with a reminder about the importance of rainforests to world ecology and concludes with a compact, one-page Glossary, Index, and list of sources for further information, focusing on websites and other books by the author. The topic is vast; the included material is, of necessity, very limited (hardly any plants are described) but thoughtfully organized. The greatest gap is that neither the contents nor the locations of the photographs are identified. Many readers will be left wondering ?What is that strange animal and where does it live?' Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Simon's short overview has a familiar format: large pages of oversize text facing sharp color photos of trees, animals, and plants provide an inviting overview of the biome that is populated by the largest variety of plant and animal species on the planet, with many of them yet to be discovered. Photo sources are identified, but there are no captions. Simon's careful descriptions hold a great deal of appeal for young people. He describes each of the rainforest's layers, along with some unusual plants, animals, and insects (e.g., bromeliads, sloths, pangolins, army ants) and explains that many medicines, oils, spices, fruits, and nuts are products of rainforest trees and plants. He also notes that areas of rainforest are being lost as they are cleared for farming or mining. This book is more focused and offers better descriptions than Darlene R. Stille's Tropical Rain Forests (Children's Press, 2000). Nancy Smiler Levinson's Rain Forests (Holiday House, 2008) and Gail Gibbons's Nature's Green Umbrella (HarperCollins, 1994) are suitable for younger children, and Philip Johansson's The Tropical Rain Forest: A Web of Life (Enslow, 2004) is the choice for reports.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews

Veteran science writer Simon describes the climate, lush plant life and some of the millions of animals inhabiting tropical rainforests in Central and South America, central Africa and Southeast Asia. Illustrated with stock photographs beautifully reproduced on glossy paper, this Smithsonian title has great eye appeal. Each double-page spread includes a full-page illustration; expanses of green foliage, spider monkey, anaconda, dart poison frogs, vampire bat and giant centipede are some examples. Additional small photos appear on most opposing pages along with a clear, logically organized text that includes an explanation of forest layers and mention of the Amazon River. The final pages less smoothly summarize the importance of rainforests to us all in terms of their products and their contribution to the environment's health as well as their endangered status. Sadly, the pictures aren't labeled. For some, there's information in the text; to be certain, the curious reader must look for bold-faced numbers in the index and cannot always find where the picture was taken. This is a serious lack in an informational book. (Nonfiction. 5-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062114723
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/17/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
File size:
14 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Seymour Simon has been called “the dean of the [children’s science book] field” by the New York Times. He has written more than 250 books for young readers and has received the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Lifetime Achievement Award for his lasting contribution to children’s science literature, the Science Books & Films Key Award for Excellence in Science Books, the Empire State Award for excellence in literature for young people, and the Educational Paperback Association Jeremiah Ludington Award. He and his wife, Liz, live in Great Neck, New York. You can visit him online at www.seymoursimon.com, where students can post on the “Seymour Science Blog” and educators can download a free four-page Teacher Guide to accompany this book, putting it in context with Common Core objectives. Join the growing legion of @seymoursimon fans on Twitter!

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