This information book is the epitome of clarity, and the beauty of its subject is captured in superb photographs. Before the unfolding of logical chapters, an overview explains how prairies are formed and what plants and conditions make up this ecosystem. A chapter on the two types of plants--grasses (wheat, corn, rice) and forbs (leafy plants, such as those in the pea and daisy families)--opens the door to understanding the interdependency of plants and animals, covered in the next chapter. Patent (Biodiversity, p. 1473, etc.) describes the destruction of the historic North American prairie, and the efforts to preserve and restore what remains. The topic is a complex one, but in her explications, Patent smoothly demonstrates aspects of biology, zoology, history, and other studies, making the book a springboard to rational scientific thought. The full-color photographs are remarkable; fully keyed to the text, they often cross the line from illustration to fine art.