MUSHROOMS by Millicent E. Selsam


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Selsam, an award-winning scientific writer for children with over a hundred books to her credit, clearly and thoroughly discusses the mushroom. She includes historical background, details of the life-cycle, interesting facts about spores, and a tour of a commercial mushroom farm with details from compost to harvest. She ends with a quick look at a few varieties, including a side-by-side picture of an edible mushroom and a look-alike poisonous ""destroying angel."" Included is a stern warning that under no circumstances should you eat a mushroom unless you have had an expert tell you it is safe. Photographs straightforwardly illustrate the text in sharp black-and-white. In addition, a few clear drawings illustrate microscopic aspects of the plants. Terminology, as with all of Selsam's works, is scientific, even sprinkled with Latin, but in a palatable form. She does not talk down, but gives the simplest answers to ""why"" questions that might arise. Older children may turn to this excellent introduction for information; young readers will relish the chance to mouth such words as ""mycelium."" Index.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1986
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Morrow