From School Library Journal
Gr 4-5-Collard describes the work of marine biologist John Calambokidis, who began studying humpback whales off the California coast but expanded his investigations to include blue whales as he discovered their presence among the humpbacks. Although the focus is on the nature of the scientist's work, basic information about these creatures is also included. The different techniques of identifying individual whales are described and illustrated, and readers are given a chance to test their own powers of observation. Scientific descriptions are punctuated by memorable phrases such as whale breaths sounding like "heaving gasps of a steam locomotive." The full-color photos include exhilarating looks at breaching and other shots of humpbacks and blues. This clearly written title will be of interest to animal lovers, environmentalists, and children considering career choices.-Frances E. Millhouser, Chantilly Regional Library, VA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-5. These volumes from the Wildlife Conservation Society Books series take a distinctly personal approach to the presentation of an animal species. Each book begins with an illustrated, four-page biographical and professional introduction to the author, as well as information about how he or she came to write the book. Colorful maps show where the animals were studied. In Whale , biologist Collard shows how John Calambokidis' observations of humpback and blue whales off the Pacific coast of North America have contributed to our knowledge of their numbers, migration patterns, and behaviors. The book clearly presents not just Calambokidis' approach to research but also his passion for his work and courage in studying whales at sea. Chip munk focuses on a particular mother chipmunk and how she raises her brood. It takes place in author Bastian's New Jersey backyard, where she has observed, researched, and photographed her neighborhood chipmunks for more than 25 years. Her curiosity and her quiet, methodical observations will surely inspire young readers to look more closely at the wild animals around them. Each book is illustrated with many clear, colorful photos. Appendixes include glossaries, bibliographies, and lists of related organizations and online sites. Carolyn Phelan
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