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Volume VIII Number 3 . . . . October 5, 2001
Caliques use a cunning strategy to protect the eggs and young from predators. They build their nests close to beehives, where snakes and other enemies will not venture. Beehives are often close to the ground, however, and floods are a constant threat in the Amazon. Building their nests near hives protects caliques from one danger but creates another.Bright, colourful and jam-packed with interesting facts, these two titles, similar in layout, examine the varied habitats in their specific areas and the plants and animals that live there. Each book is divided into two parts, each section having its own table of contents, chapter headings and a key to the foldout illustration. A glossary and an index are provided.
The Tropical Rainforest covers the habitats in the swamplands (from the estuary of the Amazon River to the wetlands, the marsh and the forest edge) and the rainforest, with its upper and lower canopies and the forest floor. Readers will be fascinated by some of the highly unusual (and seldom heard of) animals that are featured in this title. In The Poles, the habitats of the Antarctic (the continent, pack ice, and both the Antarctic and oceanic islands) and the Arctic (polar desert, tundra, coastlands and oceans and seas) are the focus.
The main sections of each book are introduced by large, "busy" foldout illustrations. A general overview of the topic is given, followed, on subsequent pages, by miniature versions of the large foldout, with a portion of the illustration highlighted for each sub-topic. The featured segment is discussed in further detail, with information on specific plants and animals and how they co-exist. There is a lot of text, but it is presented in little "snippets," much like the "Eyewitness" series, to sustain the reader's interest.
Abundant illustrations, extremely lifelike, with attention to detail, are eye-catching and add visual appeal.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.
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