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Gr. 2-4. These companion books offer a glimpse of nature in action by zeroing in on "one small place" teeming with living things. By the Sea takes an up-close look at a tide pool, briefly describing the timing of the tides and how the changes affect tide pool inhabitants, while giving a more in-depth explanation of the complex interdependence of the plants and animals in their unique environment. In One Small Place, a bear uses a tree as a scratching post, thus beginning the chain of events that leads to a large hole that becomes home to a variety of forest animals. Brenner makes the science enjoyable and understandable, and Leonard's highly detailed, realistic illustrations provide great visual aid. These attractive volumes will nicely complement a science unit on ecology. Lauren Peterson
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Barbara Brenner's curiosity about the world ranges far and wide. Her interests are reflected in the wide scope of her quality fiction and nonfiction. Some of her best-selling titles include Wagon Wheels and Voices: Poetry and Art from Around the World, which was an ALA Notable Book for Children and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. One Small Place in a Tree is a companion book to the striking One Small Place by the Sea. Barbara Brenner lives with her husband, artist Fred Brenner, in Hawley, Pennsylvania.
Tom Leonard's scientific folk-art style and fantastic perspectives have been influenced by Albert Lamorisse, Wilson McLean, and Chris Van Allsburg. In his illustrations for Madeleine Dunphy's Here is the African Savanna and Margaret Wise Brown's Under the Sun and the Moon, the vivid colors of the natural world nearly leap off the page. A graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art, Tom Leonard lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.