BOOKS
Plantopedia
illus. by Adrienne Barman. 200p. index. Quarto. May 2018. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781786031396.
COPY ISBN
Gr 1–5—This whimsical survey of more than 600 plants is divided into 50 sections that range from standard classes, such as perennials and garden vegetables, to more imaginative descriptions: "the old-timers," "the fruits you have to peel," and "the stinkers." Nearly half of the plants are shown with name identification only. The others include informational captions that run the gamut from single-word descriptions to brief tidbits. The scattered facts are interesting, but the visuals are the draw. Accurate, at times quirky illustrations of flora feature creative layouts and effective use of line and color. In "the poisoners," several cartoon skeletons playfully interact with the 17 dangerous plants. Despite the index, readers are more likely to browse the book.
VERDICT A highly appealing introduction to the plant world, though researchers will need to supplement it with other resources for specific facts.

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