________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 14 . . . . March 2, 2007

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Rain Forests. (Biomes).

Linda Aspen Baxter.
Calgary, Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $23.95.
ISBN 1-59036-446-5.

Subject Heading:
Rain forest ecology-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

*** /4

   
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Mountains. (Biomes).

Erinn Banting.
Calgary, Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $23.95.
ISBN 1-59036-444-9.

Subject Heading:
Mountain ecology-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

*** /4

   
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Fresh Waters. (Biomes).

Linda Aspen Baxter.
Calgary, Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $23.95.
ISBN 1-59036-442-2.

Subject Heading:
Freshwater ecology-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

*** /4

   
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Deciduous Forests. (Biomes).

Jennifer Hurtig.
Calgary, Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $23.95.
ISBN 1-59036-440-6.

Subject Heading:
Forest ecology-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

*** /4

   
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Chaparrals. (Biomes).

Michael de Medeiros.
Calgary, Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $23.95.
ISBN 1-59036-438-4.

Subject Heading:
Chaparral ecology-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

*** /4

   
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Caves. (Biomes).

Erinn Banting.
Calgary, Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $23.95.
ISBN 1-59036-436-8.

Subject Heading:
Cave ecology-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

*** /4

   

 

A biome is a specific environment in which certain types of plant and animal organisms can survive. Biomes are the result of combinations of geology, geography and climate, and within each are several ecosystems that support different types of organisms.

     Each type of biome is a study in itself. Scientists are still uncovering information about the history of the earth's development and the plants and animals that live within different biomes. They are also studying how human encroachment and pollution affect the survival of specific species and the role that the exploitation of resources has on these systems, and more.

      The "Biomes" series, published by Weigl, addresses important topics of scientific and social interest in major biomes of the world. They are informative, 32-page books with brightly illustrated two-page chapters, with headings that are consistent from one book to another. General information is combined with specific facts about biomes in different parts of the world, teaching students that, within the framework of each biome, there are differences based on geography.

Lava-Tube Caves

When a volcano erupts, molten lava runs down its sides. Because the lava is so hot, its surface cools before its interior does. The surface hardens as it cools, forming large tunnels or tubes beneath. The molten lava continues to run through these tubes until the eruption stops. The tubes then remain until the next eruption. (From
Caves.)


Glowworms

In the Waitomo Glowworm Caves of New Zealand, the dark zones are often illuminated with what looks like a sky full of stars. Glowworms have glands that emit light on their abdomen. These invertebrates use this light to attract prey. Once they have attracted prey, they use their long feeding lines to catch it. Glowworms can have up to 70 feeding lines, which are like a spider's web, to trap insects. (From
Caves.)

     A "Fascinating Facts" box also offers more information that will stick in a student's mind.

      Later chapters outline the work of scientists and others who study biomes, detailing their job requirements and the realities of their jobs. This information could easily have been combined into the general text as it offers no great new insights into the topic. The following chapter, entitled "Eco Challenge," asks 10 questions based on the text. Considering that any teacher can instruct students to develop questions from reading they have done, this is a waste of two pages. Another chapter that could use improvement is called "Where in the World?" Each book contains a map of the world on pages 8 and 9, showing the locations of the biome being discussed. The maps have many colours, and an educated person would assume these colours indicate different depths in the oceans and elevations on the land. However, these colour changes are not explained in the legend and become a distraction to the uninitiated. The only biomes that are named are in Caves and Fresh Water, likely because the sites are so small that they cannot be indicated with coloured shapes. Weigl has missed the chance to educate students about the names of major mountain ranges, forests and chaparrals. The books also included fairly juvenile-level questions on the map page, such as "Do you live near a deciduous forest? Where is the deciduous forest closest to you?" More facts would be welcome. The final page includes a glossary of bolded words from the text and a basic index.

      Students who are researching biomes will be able to glean solid information from these books that can be the basis of a project, or the books can simply be used as interesting reading for the nonfiction buff.

Highly Recommended.

Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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