Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LIFE IN THE BOREAL FOREST by Brenda Z. Guiberson


by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Gennady Spirin

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8050-7718-9
Publisher: Henry Holt

Stretching around the far north of our world, the boreal forest is a unique ecosystem facing a variety of threats. The tone of this attractively designed introduction is set by the attacking lynx on the cover and the somber gray-green forest scene on the endpapers. Detailed watercolors in dark reds and browns fill three-quarters of each double-page spread, while cogent text appears along one side, describing the inhabitants and stressing the interdependent and cyclical nature of their world. Onomatopoetic words (“Ker lee loo!” call the whooping cranes) add another sensory image. This oversized picture book will read aloud well; in most cases the illustrated figures are large enough for members of a small group to pick out the animals: whooping cranes, beavers, a berry-eating bear, a caribou searching for lichen. Plants are included as well, from fir trees to carnivorous pitcher plants. A list of organizations involved in preserving the boreal forest appears opposite the copyright page, and an author’s note at the end adds a short explanation of the importance of this unusual, endangered environment. Beautiful and useful. (Informational picture book. 4-9)