A look into a unique ecosystem, one that is endangered in many places
A seed is jostled from a branch of a mangrove tree and floats to a lagoon in the Caribbean Sea. It takes root, sprouts leaves, and slowly begins to grow. Over many years, the mangrove will provide a home and nourishment for numerous creatures of land and sea. Among its roots come to live fiddler crabs and shrimp; in its branches dwell lizards and hummingbirds. Soon the tree is dropping seeds of its own, and other mangroves are growing, creating a tangle whose benefits extend even to large mammals like dolphins and manatees. There are endpaper maps that indicate where mangroves are located and the names of common animals and plants found in them.
Ever threatened by hurricanes and even more by human destruction, the mangroves of our planet are endangered, but in Lynne Cherry's richly illustrated story one such habitat survives, giving readers hope and inspiration for preservation of these ecosystems in the real world.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||9.32(w) x 10.42(h) x 0.40(d)|
|Age Range:||6 - 10 Years|
About the Author
Lynne Cherry is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including The Great Kapok Tree and A River Ran Wild. She lives in Thurmond, Maryland.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It is hard to tell a story in which the main character is a real mangrove tree, but the author manages quite nicely. The talking animals say what animals would naturally say. The fishermen in the story decide to leave the island created by the mangrove tree in peace and fish at sea; the author's note at the end of the book explains not all people are this caring and intelligent. She also gives some website addresses and suggests that you don't eat shrimp unless you know that it is not from a shrimp farm that replaced a mangrove island.
(easy, fiction with non fiction elements) It's amazing what can sprout from one tiny mangrove seed shaken loose from a pelican! All the life that is dependent upon that one little seed taking root and thriving is not evident at first glance, but after reading this book you will be aware of it. The mangrove tree is almost a personification, a motherly figure, in this story as all types of critter bask in her sea grass, lay eggs, eat the algae off her bark and use her for shelter from a hurricane. A hurricane does come, and though the mangrove tree suffers damage, new growth occurs and life as usual among the mangrove trees goes on. However, a new seed has jostled loose and is floating along to a lagoon far away...and the cycle will repeat again and again and again. Just one of the beauties of life! A good discussion with readers would incorporate the author's note which addresses the mangrove being in danger and their beneficial and necessary impact on the environment.
Lynne Cherry, a passionate protector of all living things, presents an account of the interdependence of flora and fauna in this fictionalized story of one mangrove tree. As the author is quick to note all of the creatures featured in this book are not found in one particular area of mangroves. That fact does not at all detract from the message she brings. As our story opens, a flock of pelicans fly around a mangrove island. The branches of these mangroves hold sprouting seeds or propagules. When a pelican lands, he bends a branch causing a propagule to fall into the sea where it is carried to a far away lagoon. Once there it takes root and grows. Mangroves are particularly noted for their root structure, and by the time it has grown for 50 years the tree has a root base that allows it to outlast storms. In years to come crabs, anemone and sea coral make their homes among these sturdy roots. They are joined by other sea creatures. Along the way this mangrove has dropped seeds of its own, which causes other mangroves to grow and the tangle of mangroves continues to enlarge. It will eventually become a home for larger sea creatures such as dolphins. Ms. Cherry's splendidly vivid full page illustrations bring to life the world beneath the sea. She concludes her story by urging readers to visit several Web sites in order to learn how to help save the endangered mangroves. - Gail Cooke