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BEFORE & AFTER by Jan Thornhill


A Book of Nature Timescapes

by Jan Thornhill & illustrated by Jan Thornhill

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-7922-7093-2
Publisher: National Geographic

 With scrupulous care and exhibiting obvious research, Thornhill (Crow and Fox, 1993, etc.) presents seven biomes, one in every spread--tropical coral reef, wetland, savannah, meadow, temperate forest edge, rain forest, and school yard--on which appear about two dozen animals in a natural setting; the animals appear again in miniature and labeled in the colored border. A second spread of the featured biome follows, showing it a few seconds later, a minute later, a day later, a year later, etc. Children can observe the action at a tranquil watering hole a minute before a lioness leaps onto the scene, or the few seconds it takes for creatures at a coral reef to scatter and hide once the shark shows up. At the school yard, the ``before'' scene shows that a habitat is being created, with trees in burlap bags and gardening equipment; the ``after'' spread is set a year later, when the garden has become leafy and birds, butterflies, squirrels, and frogs have settled into the environment along with the children. A section of nature notes provides an additional paragraph of information for each locale, while the handsome, heavily detailed full-color drawings make a guessing game of some of the animals' hiding spots. Useful for biome study or just for browsing. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-8)