Reviewed by Juliana Texley
NSTA Web Field Editor
As close as the sand beneath one's feet, the gopher tortoise is an outstanding example of a keystone species. It lives in tropical scrub fields—often near parking lots or vacant fields. And its importance can't be underestimated, because its hole provides protection for dozens of other species during the hot, dry days of summer in Florida and neighboring states.
Accompanied by colorful, detailed illustrations, the text is also detailed and precise, so this concise, large-format paperback will be accessible to elementary and middle level readers. There are many opportunities for active investigation—challenging readers to use text or drawings to develop food webs or analyze niches and relationships among the animals portrayed. A teacher's guide is also available. This book was named an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2011.
Review posted on 11/22/2010