“People think, talk, and walk around. Plants do none of these things. So how can they be anything like us?”
Wisely anticipating the first question readers will have upon encountering this latest in her Just Like Us! series, Heos opens with it and proceeds to make her case. Plants and people both love basking in the sun and eating—but in the case of plants, they are both the same thing. People and plants both need water. Some people and some plants eat meat. “With the right mix of sunlight, water, and nutrition, plants grow up and have babies—just like people.” While some of these similarities are admittedly a stretch—and the imputation of motive and strategy to plants even more of one—the engaging device leads readers into an easy presentation of botanical facts laced with just the right details to keep them hooked (foul odors figure prominently). Unfolding topic by topic, the single- and double-page spreads are illustrated with Clark’s over-the-top cartoons. One spread on plant self-defense presents angry tomatoes spraying poison on a caterpillar (a caterpillar’s munch triggers the production of a toxin) and a butterfly with two Frankenstein-esque heads (African bugleweed can cause mutations). A one-page glossary defines such terms as “hydrochloric acid” and “prickle”; a bibliography includes both books and online resources, most aimed at adults. Just Like Us! Fish publishes simultaneously.
Interesting facts that go down smoothly. (Informational picture book. 5-8)