Earth’s five main biomes—aquatic, forest, grassland, desert, and tundra—are further broken down into subgroups, each with collages depicting that group and some of its animals.
This is a fitting companion piece to Allen-Fletcher’s Animal Antipodes (2018), but, unlike its sibling, it works better as a primary-grade reference book than a one-time read. Each double-page spread has a short paragraph that offers a few facts, such as, “Deciduous forests are found in cooler, rainy areas.” The remainder of each page consists of one-sentence descriptions under all-caps labels near each of the stylized creatures traversing the habitat. Readers will enjoy additions to familiar names—Shiho’s sea horses, curled octopuses—and less-common names, such as wobbegongs and axolotls. There is also pleasant variety in the one-apiece verb for each animal: “Musk oxen graze”; “Adelie penguins huddle.” The layout and the vibrant artwork do not disappoint, and care was taken to include varied countries and continents. The plains biome, for example, includes animals from grasslands in China, Russia, Africa, New Zealand, and North and South America. However, each double-page spread is essentially a beautifully illustrated list of animals in a scantily explained habitat. Children who love animals and love learning new names of animals will enjoy perusing the pages, but anyone craving depth will want to extend their exploration to other, meatier resources.
Biome rudiments with more style than substance. (Informational picture book. 5-9)