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Eyewitness Natural World (Companion to the Pbs Series) Hardcover – September 15, 1994
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8-This survey of the anatomy, behavior, and evolution of animals-mollusks through primates-is a feast for the eyes, but the mind gets only tidbits. While some of them are fascinating, others are meaningless without further explanation, which is either absent from the book entirely or appears many pages away. The volume does cover some subjects in a coherent way, e.g., elephant dentition, but this information is more easily found in the "Eyewitness" title on elephants (from which it is taken) and makes more sense in that context. Other spreads are taken from the "Eyewitness" books on reptiles, amphibians, etc., but are not successfully integrated into an organized whole. The full-color photographs, while providing breathtaking detail, present their own problems. It is not easy to see where the label pointers are pointing, and in at least three cases they direct readers to the wrong body part. Also, photos are overlaid on one another without regard to the relative size of the specimens depicted. And the whole idea of isolating wild creatures on the white page, attractive as it is, seems to go against the trend in education and science, which is to consider them in the context of their natural habitats.
Nancy Schimmel, formerly of San Mateo County Library, CA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6-12. Lavishly illustrated in glowing color, this large-size volume in the Eyewitness Natural World series will get most use as introductory and browsing material on zoology rather than as a research tool. Within the general sections on animal anatomy, feeding, life cycles, evolution, habitat, etc., each double-page spread is complete in itself, with dazzling photos, clear diagrams, and lively text on specific topics ranging from "Coats and Claws" to "Camouflage" and "Life in the Ocean." This approach popularizes zoology without oversimplification. At the end there's a detailed animal classification chart and a glossary. The cover with a white background and a great tawny tiger prowling toward you would make a stunning library or classroom display. Hazel Rochman
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