Being Caribou
by Karsten Heuer

Price at time of review: $17.95
48 pp.
Walker & Company
New York, NY
ISBN: 9780802795668

Grade Level: 1-4

Reviewed by CBC Reviewer

Take a journey with real researchers, to investigate firsthand the organisms in an area that's at the heart of one of this country's most intense political debates. The amazing five-month migration of a caribou herd to the Alaskan calving grounds (near ANWR) is articulately told through firsthand accounts by the author. Vivid details and extraordinary photographs help readers become aware of the importance of protecting these grounds.

Elementary readers may begin with the photos that are carefully captioned with the sort of personal observations that make the journey so meaningful. Little details (like the fact that the caribou shed so much that everything around the author was covered with their fur) help readers feel this vicarious adventure in a personal way. But because the text includes stories of dead calves and other realistic details, it's probably most appropriate for middle or secondary readers. This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book would be an ideal accompaniment to the Disney movie Never Cry Wolf, to support lessons on the Arctic biome, food webs, energetics, or evolution.

Review posted on 3/5/2008

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