From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-An attractive, ambitious, but not totally satisfying picture-book overview of arctic tundra life. Each double-page spread focuses on a month, beginning and ending with April. An animal is introduced on the left side; the facing page shows it in a landscape and asks a question intended to invite participation ("How many caribou can you count?"). A thermometer gives the average temperature for the month and a small pie chart indicates the proportion of hours of daylight and darkness on a typical day. The final spread shows a kind of seasonal spectrum with each of the 13 tundra dwellers and the instructions, "Try to see how many of them you can name!" The watercolor illustrations are accurate in their depiction of the animals, but feature a black-outline style that gives the landscapes a two-dimensional look. The audience for the book is questionable. The subject might be of interest to grade-school children but the format and the questions seem geared to preschoolers. However, the proportional pie charts, which look confusingly similar to clock faces, would be difficult for those children to interpret. The text is interesting but oversimplified. While Wadsworth writes that caribou migrate along "well-worn trails they have taken for centuries," biologists and hunters find that, although caribou herds have traditional summer and winter grounds, the routes themselves may vary from year to year. A glossary provides some useful definitions for terms such as "biome" and "permafrost," and some words ("herd," "claws") that are hard to imagine a child not knowing.Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
paper 0-88106-876-4 Above the Arctic Circle the return of spring is announced not with daffodils and robins but by caribou migrating north. This calendar of the tundra follows the seasonal changes from April to April, including average temperatures and the dwindling and lengthening hours of daylight. Every month the text features a different creaturemosquitoes, snowy owls, wolves, and musk oxen among themand highlights how it survives. Wadsworth notes how the fur of the arctic hare changes to white in winter, while in June, returning birds such as plovers and sandpipers build their nests of sticks and grass directly on the ground. Carrozza's soft illustrations capture much detail but are also easy to navigate. This is an intelligent overview of the effects of the circling seasons in an environmental niche not noticeably affected by humans. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.