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Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth (CitizenKid) Hardcover – August 1, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7–A handsome presentation in a slender, oversized format, generously illustrated with impressive, informative acrylics. Strauss's clearly written text first introduces the concept of a family tree for all living things, then goes on to name the five kingdoms of scientific classification (those programmed for "Protists" will have to adapt to "Protoctista" here). On two-page spreads, the author describes the life-forms included in each species, with specific examples shown in the softly colorful illustrations accompanied by informative captions. The Animal Kingdom comprises the longest segment as it is broken down into invertebrates and vertebrates, with the latter divided still further into fish, birds, and so on. Two closing units discuss habitat loss and its effect on biodiversity, and how one can protect the environment. A final entry aimed at "Parents, Teachers and Guardians" explains the history of scientific classification, discusses the importance of biodiversity to this planet, and provides some suggestions for fostering a biodiversity ethic in young people. This book might be paired with Steve Jenkins's equally attractive Life on Earth (Houghton, 2002) to demonstrate just how biodiversity became such a rich, multilayered conglomeration. Striking, lucid, and deceptively simple.–Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-6. This useful, attractive, oversize volume uses its height well, employing a tree metaphor to show the earth's biodiversity and how all living things, from bacteria to the largest mammals, are related. Each spread covers one branch of the animal kingdom. To make the enormity of species understandable, Strauss equates individual species (e.g., 10,000 bacteria) with one leaf on the tree. Since only a couple of paragraphs are devoted to each species (a bit more information appears in captions), this is strictly an overview. But the eye-catching, painterly artwork, with various life-forms painted into the tree, invites children to look more closely than they might have otherwise. Concluding spreads consider the disappearance of some species and how readers can become stewards of the earth. A final two-page note, directed to parents and teachers, provides a more complex introduction to biodiversity. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 910L (What's this?)
  • Series: CitizenKid
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553376692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553376699
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.2 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book offers an excellent introduction to Biodiversity and natural history. Ideal for children ages 8-12, it will appeal to nature, animal and plant lovers of all ages! Images and text weave a wonderful story about life on Earth, while presenting issues and concepts in a thoughtful, approachable way. A real must for educators...every classroom and school library should have a copy!!
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By Liz on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Tree of Life by Rochelle Strauss and illustrated by Margot Thompson is an excellent resource book to use in and out of the classroom. There are many interesting facts in the book, not only for children to read, but adults as well. The Tree of Life does a wonderful job of explaining biodiversity to children and is great for plant and animal lovers! I think that every classroom should have a copy of this book! It is very hard to find appealing Science books for children and this book is appropriate for just that!
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Format: Hardcover
Tree of Life written by Rochelle Strauss, Illustrated by Margot Thompson. I thought this book was a very unique and educational tool for informing children about Science, nature and life. The book is very detailed and is full of interesting information that will keep kids interested as well as decent pictures. Im not sure if i would purchase this book for my own home, but i would definately check it out from the library to share with my children.
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Format: Hardcover
Tree of Life is an excellent resource book on nature. Children are able to view the table of contents and easily find information. The illustrations are drawn in detail giving a realistic appearance. I think this book would come in very helpful when an early grade child is doing a research report.
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Format: Paperback
The two most fundamental areas of study in modern biology are evolution and taxonomy. I will save a discussion of evolution for another day. But here we have Rochell Strauss's _Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth_ (2004), which deals with taxonomy-- the classification of living things. Now Strauss knows that _eventually_ taxonomy becomes legalistically complicated. But she also knows that _initially_ it is quite simple. Any kid can learn the basics. Hell, so can a lot of adults.

You've got this tree of life, see, and it's got five main branches or kingdoms: Monera (bacteria), Fungi (mushrooms, yeasts, lichens), Protocista (paramecia, ameobas, algae), Plants, and Animals. Plants are divided up between nonflowering and flowering. Animals are divided up between invertibrates and vertibrates. You can remember that, can't you?

And you can remember that we are vertibrates, can't you? Because we have backbones. And that there are only five kinds of vertibrates: fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. And that we are mammals, primates, and humans. That wasn't so hard, was it?

Strauss makes it especially easy by giving lots of colorful examples along the way. And there are also those lovely, giant paintings by Margot Thompson giving illustrations of living things that fall into all sorts of different categories. There are good sections on changes to the tree of life, some species at risk, becoming guardians of the tree of life, and notes to parents, teachers, and guardians.
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