K-Gr 3This is an almost poetic introduction that stresses the value of and the need to preserve wetlands. Vivid, full-color photographs beautifully illustrate the concepts discussed in the text. There are no captions, but the pictures are usually self-explanatory. Unfortunately, some are a bit small and do not lend themselves to group viewing. Cone tells of the different kinds of wetlands explaining the various plants and animals that can be found in marshes, swamps, and bogs. She uses persuasive statistics such as "...more than half of all animals breed, feed, raise their young, or escape from hot or cold weather in wetlands" to demonstrate the importance of this ecosystem. She tells of the destruction of these habitats and the belated realization of their importance. Most of the same information can be found in Downs Matthews's Wetlands (S & S, 1994) but it's for a slightly older audience. Squishy, Misty, Damp & Muddy is an especially good choice for an Earth Day story hour or for introducing ecology in primary grades.Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
This photo-essay introduces the variety and value of wetlands. Uncaptioned full-color photographs provide clear views of the plants, animals, and the general look of wetlands, while the text comments on their variety and environmental value, the destruction they've suffered, as well as efforts to conserve them. The relatively broad focus makes it a good introductory book for young children, though they will need to look elsewhere for specific information on the many types of wetlands and their inhabitants. An attractive resource for primary-grade classrooms.