Reviewed by CBC Reviewer
This beautifully–illustrated guide to the desert ecosystem offers both poetry and science, giving this book a dual purpose and a wide range of interest levels. While its alphabet format may make it appropriate for group sharing in the elementary years, the primary text is middle–level and the poetic verses describe content that would normally be covered there.
Here:s an example: "X is for Xerophyte, a plant that grows where it's dry. Well adapted to the desert and its limited water supply." A column of supporting text provides secondary–level explanations about specific xerophyte plants. For example, the tiny, waxy leaves and smooth, green bark of desert plants are explained as adaptations to desert habitats.
This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Book will grab readers of every age, but might be especially appropriate for enrichment in middle–level courses that emphasize biomes, habitats, or adaptations. There is also information about the human inhabitants of the desert to add to the normal content. Because there are so many layers to this book, there are many paths to explore it, as a whole class, an individual reader, or as a springboard to group research.
Review posted on 1/14/2013