SLJ Review - Nature's Neighborhoods
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.