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The Kingfisher Nature Encyclopedia (Kingfisher Encyclopedias) Hardcover – September 14, 2010
"Children of Blood and Bone"
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-7–Published with only minor changes, such as an updated short list of recommended websites, this reprint (Kingfisher, 2004) is still a fine choice for nurturing an interest in the natural world. Organized into three sections–the first on our planet's origin and the evolution of life, the second surveying the five biotic kingdoms, the third taking closer looks at 14 biomes (including “Towns and Cities”)–each spread offers a topical discussion that ranges in scope from “Seasons and Weather” or “How Fungi Feed” to “Protozoans” and “Tropical Forests.” Color photos on every page add visual interest while playing supporting roles to information presented in captions and columns of lucid, not heavily technical narrative text. Despite the pleasantly extensive index, this is a first-rate overview of its topic rather than a resource for quick reference or assignment-driven research.–John Peters, formerly at New York Public Library. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This resource, revised and updated from the 2004 edition, introduces readers to the diversity of life on earth. Information is divided into three sections. The opening, “A Planet Apart,” discusses origins of life and formation of the planet, including topics such as DNA, evolution, and energy. “The Living World” has sections on the five “kingdoms of life” (bacteria, microscopic life, fungi, plants, and animals) and ecology. “Wildlife Habitats” provides readers with information about the various environments and biomes on planet earth. Information is generally contained in two-page spreads, though articles on the biomes are slightly longer. Numerous color photographs, maps, and images are found within each spread, with captions that add to the content. It is these illustrative materials that are the strength of this encyclopedia. Additionally, the superb layout and design and graduated font size (similar to the DK Eyewitness series) will draw readers in. Though there is an index, readers will likely utilize the table of contents to figure out which pages contain the information they are seeking. This reference work is an excellent introduction to numerous topics in science throughout elementary- and middle-school curriculums. Public and school libraries serving these students, or high schools wanting an introductory resource for students, will be well served by this purchase. The price of this resource makes it possible to consider multiple copies, as many readers will want to check it out after browsing. Grades 4-9. --Shauna Yusko
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