From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4–Introductory titles with an environmentalist point of view. The first book offers facts about alligators and their habitat, followed by discussions of why they began to disappear, how their environment changed, and what has been done to save American alligators. Readers are asked to think of ways to save those in China, which continue to be endangered. An activity is included. Ice Caps
discusses the need for balance in nature, the greenhouse effect, and what can be done to help combat global warming. In both books, the information is detailed, but not overwhelming. However, the absence of chapters might hinder their use for reports. Colorful illustrations provide details that support the texts.–Christine Markley, Washington Elementary School, Barto, PA
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Information and illustration work well together in this picture-book presentation about alligators, their history, and their contribution to a unique ecosystem. After quickly tracing the ancestors and relatives of the alligator from the Jurassic period to the present, the author explains that during the dry season in Florida, alligators seek out damp muck and thrash about until they create a gator hole. As water seeps in from below, the hole draws many species of animals. The alligator is known as a "keystone species," without which this particular ecosystem would not exist. The text also presents the dramatic story of how alligators were brought to the brink of extinction before making a remarkable comeback. The book concludes with a simple activity, making a model of a gator hole, and a page of "Gator Facts." Simplified yet not anthropomorphized, the clearly delineated paintings feature alligators and other animals as the focal points of well-composed scenes. Another well-designed, effective presentation from the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved