Thursday, July 5, 2018

Life in the Amazon Rainforest by Ginjer L. Clarke

Technically, this is an easy reader, however Penguin level 4 is generally too high for my easy reader section. I usually place them in the juvenile nonfiction and consider them part of the beginning chapters.

This nonfiction title starts with a brief introduction to the rainforest, a map, general description of the weather, and the layers from forest floor to emergent trees.

Each chapter in the main section focuses on selected animals from a different area; dolphins, capybara and caimans in the river, jaguar and tapir on the forest floor, and so forth. Some of the animals are familiar - boas, bats, spider monkeys, and sloths. Others are more unusual like the hoatzin (a bird), harpy eagles, and ocelots.

The final chapter briefly addresses the destruction of the rainforest and ways readers can recycle and otherwise help. Back matter consists of a small glossary.

The book is illustrated with photographs, many of them set in frames, with a few full-page photos. This is a nice introduction to the rainforest, which would also work well as a supplemental resource. However, I feel there is a major gap in this story; there is no mention of the approximately twenty million people who live in the rainforest and are as much a part of it as the fascinating creatures that also call it home. The only reference to the inhabitants are a mention of the use of poison dart frogs in blow darts and a photo of said dart guns. I've noticed that many calls for "saving the rainforest" seem to ignore the people who live there and should be part of any conversation involving its current and future use and preservation.

Verdict: This serves as an introduction for rainforest animals, but should be supplemented with more materials that include all aspects of the rainforest.

ISBN: 9781524784881; Published 2018 by Penguin; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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