With photographs suitable for a nature calendar and illustrations of a naturalist's sketchbook, this is truly a delightful and informative book. Having read this book, one feels as if they have emerged from a guided nature walk through the northernmost forest region of North America. The text is similar to journal entries as each turn of the page reveals a new sight, be it flora or fauna! From resin oozing from the bark of a conifer, to caribou searching for lichens, to a raging forest fire, we are provided with informative text to accompany each beautiful photograph. Each page is an attractive composition of brushed green background, colorful photographs and text. Scattered throughout the work are illustrations presented in note form that include a descriptive sentence to explain the photographs. While some of the text may be considered beneath the intended audience of a nine to twelve-year-old, it is not a detriment to the content of this well-designed book. Included in the back are additional sources for information about the Boreal Foresteven a brief annotated Internet bibliography. 2001, Carolrhoda Books Inc., $23.93. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Elizabeth Young
Gr 2-5-A fine overview of the plant and animal life of the boreal forest. A map of North America early in the book delineates the location of this biome, which stretches across much of Canada and dips into limited areas of the northern United States. Johnson explains the interrelated nature of life in any biome and introduces a variety of birds and other animals that live together in this one. Excellent full-color photographs capture the beauty of the huge spruce, pine, and other trees as well as smaller plants. Close-ups of animals from tiny deer mice to the rapacious wolverine accompany brief introductions to many forest inhabitants. The author also discusses the climate, particularly how various animals deal with the lengthy winter. Fact boxes with sketches are well placed and do not detract from the book's pleasing arrangement of text and visual information. A well-crafted introduction to an area little explored in children's books.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.