NONFICTION

The Boreal Forest: A Year in the World’s Largest Land Biome

Kids Can. Apr. 2020. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781525300448.
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Gr 3-6–Stretching from Alaska through Russia, and described as “forming a scarf around the neck of the world,” the boreal forest is an intriguing topic. Starting in winter, the book chronicles a year in the biome. Different countries are given their own spreads. Flora and fauna are explained. Most of the year, bears are vegetarians. Boreal trees provide a food source for insects, most of which are harmless. Indigenous people are mentioned, such as the Saami who live in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and western Russia. Climate change and its impact on the biome are frequently mentioned throughout the book. Engaging text is set over full-page illustrations. Mixed-media art is softly colored and inviting. While this has a perfect picture book layout and feel, it contains substantial information for young report writers. A full glossary, resources list, and a complete index are appended. Use this with Branching Out: How Trees Are Part of Our World by Joan Marie Galat and One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss, both worthy and complementary titles.
VERDICT A fascinating introduction to the world’s largest biome. Recommended.

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