Reviewed by Juliana Texley
NSTA Web Field Editor
Teachers and young readers have been fascinated by Jean Craighead George's nature books for four decades. They won't be disappointed in this beautiful story of the near demise and recovery of our nation's buffalo. It has been recognized as an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2011.
In vivid, double-page paintings and narrative prose, this book describes America's prairies "in a time long ago" and the changes caused by the American settlers. The work of Theodore Roosevelt, W.T. Hornaday, and others can provide great links to social studies lessons. Serendipitous discoveries like the nearly extinct buffalo grass emphasize how fragile the buffalo's habitat had become.
Reviewers noted some slightly misleading illustrations in the book, such as the height of buffalo grass, but these do not detract from the overall quality of the presentation and message. Like all George's books, this one is upbeat and inspirational. It's not heavy on science, but because the double-page format is ideal for a classroom read-aloud, it would make a great invitation to further study.
Review posted on 11/22/2010