An album of natural habitats currently being threatened by human activity.
For each of 13 select environments, including “Arctic,” “Deep sea,” “Moorland,” and “The Outback,” the Danish illustrators create a broad landscape view with plenty of native flora and fauna either openly visible or peering from partial concealment. Matte colors and flat planes make for striking compositions; the lack of modeling and depth serve to grant flora and fauna equal weight in readers’ eyes. With the names of most (not all, oddly) of the wildlife present printed in italics to create links with the art, McAllister captures the character of each setting in measured free verse: In a “Rainforest,” for instance, “Lush leaves searching for a glimmer in the gloom” are the “Haunt of mighty gorilla, poisonous frog, / And slithering python,” while on the “Prairie,” “nature plays the drama queen— / Swift in anger to curse with drought, / Blast a scouring wind, / Spin a fury of tornadoes.” The author saves her message for a closing section, in which she notes how each habitat is shrinking due to human use, pollution, or climate change. She then closes by urging readers to conserve energy, recycle, and generally care for the planet. “Explore it, protect it, love it. / Our Earth is a wonderful wild world.”
A low-key but heartfelt call to appreciate the Earth’s unspoiled places. (Informational picture book. 6-8)