School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 2-4-A wonderful invitation to explore freshwater wetlands. Rood describes the creatures that live at the water's edge (raccoons, turtles, frogs, insects, and birds) and those that probe its depths (salamanders, caddisworms, dragonfly nymphs, and snails). An explanation of surface tension is accompanied by a simple experiment, and the clear directions for making a microscope should entice budding scientists. Donnelly's watercolors are fascinating as well as lovely. The final spread is a bird's-eye view of a pond and its inhabitants. Lynn M. Stone's Wetlands (Rourke, 1989) is for approximately the same audience and, while it is more thorough, it's not as appealing.-Kathleen McCabe, East Meadow Public Library, NY
Carolyn PhelanFrom the publisher's Nature Study series, this little book introduces children to the flora and fauna of freshwater wetlands. The organization, by locale within the ecosystem, makes for some interesting connections: adult mosquitoes are discussed as part of the food chain in the chapter on the skies above the wetlands, while mosquito eggs and larvae appear in the chapter on life near the surface of the water. The last chapter shows readers how to make a simple microscope and discusses the wetland life-forms that cannot ordinarily be seen. With relatively large print and wide spaces between lines, the pages have an inviting look and are enhanced by the softly shaded watercolor illustrations appearing on nearly every page. In some cases, an indication of the size of the animal would be helpful; however, the artwork captures their forms and movements with delicacy and precision. An engaging introduction to the ecology of "swamps and streams and soggy places."
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