This book from the "Protecting Habitats" series contains pertinent information about mountain habitats. However, the opening few paragraphs that paint skiers and farmers as destroyers of mountains could be improved. The point is to give the reader awareness, but it is a bit overdone. Follow-up sections present information about specific mountain ranges in the world, informative ideas about such areas as mountain breathing, radiation, and temperatures. Readers learn that many medicines can be made from harvested mountain herbs and plants and that if those suppliers are lost, people will be seriously affected. Colorful photos add splendor to the text. Some shots include ones with waterfalls, wild flowers, animals, mountain women, and snowy ranges. Sidebars add to the text with information such as a list of foods grown in the mountains and specifics as to what inhabitants do. Again, added back matter helps readers understand what they can do to have a say in saving mountain habitats. 2006 (orig. 2004), Gareth Stevens Publishing, Ages 10 up.
Nancy Garhan Attebury
Gr 5-7-These texts do not focus on protecting habitats, but rather document the decline of the Earth's environment. The first book identifies oceans, marine life forms, and the many threats to their survival brought on by overfishing and pollution. The second title highlights climate, animals, and plants, as well as tourism and scientific research in the Arctic and Antarctic. Ecological threats brought on by oil exploration and the affecting loss of the ozone layer are briefly explored. Ocean Habitats and Polar Regions each contains a short section listing the treaties meant to protect these areas but do not discuss their success or failure. Mountain Habitats identifies the varying types of mountain zones and the toll taken on the ecology of these regions by tourism and other recreational use. While readers are urged to help save these habitats, the monumental tasks seem insurmountable. The attractive color photographs and charts offer little information and are sometimes not related to the adjacent text. Rather than dwelling on the bad environmental news, readers might better be served by some small suggestions that can make them wiser inhabitants of their world.-Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.