Welcome to the Backyard

9781910549629. ea vol: 32p. (Nature's Neighborhoods: All About Ecosystems). chart. diag. further reading. illus. index. maps. photos. Ruby Tuesday. 2016. lib. ed. $19.95. ebk. $29.95.
Gr 2–4—These thoughtful overviews provide selected examples of the roles of plants and animals within an ecosystem. Basic facts about the habitat are followed by simple profiles of the creatures that live there. Each spread ends with a boxed question that is answered with the subsequent page turn, which neatly supports the theme of connections within a habitat. A spread on rock-clinging seaweed, for example, leads into one on animals that also stick to rocks, followed by a transition to barnacle eating processes. Continuity is further reinforced by introducing an animal, then returning to it later. In Pond, for example, dragonfly eggs are laid, nymphs appear seven pages later, and they emerge as dragonflies toward the end. Visual support comes from a mixture of full-page photos and smaller insets, many of which include helpful labels. Each title ends with a useful food web diagram.
VERDICT Excellent introductions to how ecosystems function.
These books clearly explain how plants and animals survive the seasons (or the tides in Seashore) in the title ecosystems and how every living thing gets what it needs from its habitat. Spreads are cluttered with sidebars and layered photos (full-page, close-up, and inset); a question leading into each new spread will engage readers. Food web diagram appended. Reading list. Glos., ind. Review covers the following Nature's Neighborhoods titles: Welcome to the Backyard, Welcome to the Forest, Welcome to the Pond, and Welcome to the Seashore.

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