by Joyce Sidman

Price at time of review: $17.00
40 pp.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Boston, MA
ISBN: 9780618717194

Grade Level: K-5

Reviewed by CBC Reviewer

Fresh, stylized poetry joins with information-dense paragraphs and appealing illustrations to illuminate the survival skills of some of nature’s most ubiquitous life forms. This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2011 describes in prose and poetry many of the organisms we take for granted every day. From diatoms and lichens to ants and geckos, nature's success stories are often subtle.

The book begins with bacteria and ends with humans. Diagrams accompany the text—many stretching across large double-page spreads to make sections of the book appropriate for reading aloud. The content is most appropriate for middle grade students but I wouldn't hesitate to share sections with potential naturalists of any age. Listening to a poem about crows or dandelions will make better observers of us all, and the content background that the book provides can either serve as support for new enthusiasts or reinforcement for the teacher.

Review posted on 3/20/2011

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