Rothman’s detailed, realistic full-bleed acrylic paintings dominate this survey of animal and plant life in the vast area of boreal forest that extends from the eastern Great Lakes across the northeastern U.S. into Quebec.
The book is divided into five sections describing the varying habitats of this territory at different times of the day. The paintings provide a minutely observed and scientifically accurate view of the widely varying ecosystems and habitats of both familiar and less well-known species: fish including longnose gar, walleye, and bullhead; mammals including moose, bobcat, star-nosed mole, porcupine, and flying squirrel; birds including owl, raven, and grouse; and trees and plants such as the pitcher plant. The text is composed of couplets and quatrains of occasionally awkward rhyming verse, which sometimes disconcertingly describes animals and events not pictured. Small italicized headings helpfully identify the species featured on each page, although a larger, Roman typeface would have aided legibility, and a straightforward prose narrative would better complement the detailed scientific illustrations.
In spite of textual shortcomings, this book provides a worthy introduction to an awe-inspiring geographic area that will be unfamiliar to many and may encourage some to get outside and enjoy the woods. (Informational picture book. 6-10)