Carmichael offers explanations and illuminations about the planet’s largest land biome while Bisaillon supplies collage-style art in muted tones.
Poetic language in large print, set against the backdrop of a snowy woodland scene, begins a book with thoughtful text, art, and layout: “Glaciers melt, soil breathes, seeds fly on a warming breeze. Trees creep ever, ever north.” Every double-page spread reveals germane science and geography or presents an appealing landscape showing an aspect of seasonal changes in the boreal forest. A winter-scarf motif acts as a unifying design element, serving as background to the names of countries whose flora and fauna are highlighted on various pages. Fascinating facts emerge from two sources: the lyrical language that describes a day for animals in a particular place and season and sidebars with pure scientific facts. The chosen facts are current, and the text carefully notes when scientists are still testing hypotheses about such ideas as how birds seem to use an organ called the Vitali to sense pressure changes before storms. Gentle humor is interspersed throughout. Climate change is frequently mentioned, both in terms of its effect on the boreal forest and on the ways in which this biome slows down global warming, and Indigenous peoples’ roles as participants in the boreal forest’s ecosystems are not ignored. The accessible text proves its point that the boreal forest is both vast and vital.
Excellent for the natural history and science shelves. (glossary, resources, index) (Informational picture book. 8-12)