Tundra Discoveries

Overview

Readers of all ages will be fascinated by the ever-changing life cycle of the arctic tundra. Learn which animals come and go and how they survive in this frozen desert. As spring approaches, the temperatures are still freezing. Thousands of caribou begin to travel north along the same paths that caribou have traveled for centuries to graze on tundra grasses. It is not until the fall "freeze-up" that the caribou begin their migration south once again. Then polar bears descend along the icy coastline, and snowy ...
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Overview

Readers of all ages will be fascinated by the ever-changing life cycle of the arctic tundra. Learn which animals come and go and how they survive in this frozen desert. As spring approaches, the temperatures are still freezing. Thousands of caribou begin to travel north along the same paths that caribou have traveled for centuries to graze on tundra grasses. It is not until the fall "freeze-up" that the caribou begin their migration south once again. Then polar bears descend along the icy coastline, and snowy owls prey the darkened skies. A thermometer and calendar on each spread help the reader see the temperature and hours of daylight change throughout an arctic year.

Describes the behavior of thirteen different animals, including caribou, arctic foxes, lemmings, and owls, during one full year on the arctic tundra.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-An attractive, ambitious, but not totally satisfying picture-book overview of arctic tundra life. Each double-page spread focuses on a month, beginning and ending with April. An animal is introduced on the left side; the facing page shows it in a landscape and asks a question intended to invite participation ("How many caribou can you count?"). A thermometer gives the average temperature for the month and a small pie chart indicates the proportion of hours of daylight and darkness on a typical day. The final spread shows a kind of seasonal spectrum with each of the 13 tundra dwellers and the instructions, "Try to see how many of them you can name!" The watercolor illustrations are accurate in their depiction of the animals, but feature a black-outline style that gives the landscapes a two-dimensional look. The audience for the book is questionable. The subject might be of interest to grade-school children but the format and the questions seem geared to preschoolers. However, the proportional pie charts, which look confusingly similar to clock faces, would be difficult for those children to interpret. The text is interesting but oversimplified. While Wadsworth writes that caribou migrate along "well-worn trails they have taken for centuries," biologists and hunters find that, although caribou herds have traditional summer and winter grounds, the routes themselves may vary from year to year. A glossary provides some useful definitions for terms such as "biome" and "permafrost," and some words ("herd," "claws") that are hard to imagine a child not knowing.-Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Above the Arctic Circle the return of spring is announced not with daffodils and robins but by caribou migrating north. This calendar of the tundra follows the seasonal changes from April to April, including average temperatures and the dwindling and lengthening hours of daylight. Every month the text features a different creature•mosquitoes, snowy owls, wolves, and musk oxen among them•and highlights how it survives. Wadsworth notes how the fur of the arctic hare changes to white in winter, while in June, returning birds such as plovers and sandpipers build their nests of sticks and grass directly on the ground. Carrozza's soft illustrations capture much detail but are also easy to navigate. This is an intelligent overview of the effects of the circling seasons in an environmental niche not noticeably affected by humans. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881068764
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ginger Wadsworth is a native Californian. She received her B.A. in English from the University of California at Davis with a minor in American history. She has taken additional courses in early childhood education, children's literature, and creative writing. She has also studied outdoor education including general ecology, ornithology, and wildflowers.

Ginger taught part-time at an elementary level. She designed a nature program for her students and taught outdoor education classes. She is an environmentalist and a member of the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy Group, and several other conservation organizations.

Ginger has written many children's books, both fiction and non-fiction. She has a talent for presenting issues concerning the natural world to children. Some of her titles include, One On A Web, Desert Discoveries, One Tiger Growls, River Discoveries, John Burroughs, Sage of Slabsides (Clarion Books), Laura Ingalls Wilder, Storyteller of the Prairie (Lerner Publications), Rachel Carson, Voice for the Earth (Lerner Publications), and John Muir, Wilderness Protector (Lerner Publications).

Ginger lives in California with her husband has two grown sons. She enjoys gardening with native California plants, hiking, camping, bird watching, photography, traveling and reading. She comes from a family of writers and naturalists.

Visit Ginger online at www.gingerwadsworth.com.

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