The Nature All Around team offers facts about plants: specifically, flowering plants in Canada and the United States.
The text follows the conversational pattern established in earlier series outings and includes quirky, original metaphors, such as “A seed is like a tiny picnic basket full of food that the plant uses when it starts to grow.” The art complements it by avoiding gimmicks and using stylized, but usually appropriately detailed, watercolors to show the science. For example, there’s no cartoonish picnic basket here; instead, watercolor diagrams differentiate the sprouting of a monocot wheat versus a dicot bean seed. The layout offers plenty of variety without overstimulating browsing, but economical captioning demands that readers glean most of the book’s informational content from the text. Some readers may wish for slightly more detail in the illustrations on a spread about identifying plant components by type. The page that gives step-by-step directions for growing microgreens, however, is a perfect example of excellent collaboration among writer, illustrator, and designer, from its italicized definition at the start to a colorful plate of raw veggies scattered with sprouts at the end. The pollination page is likewise a terrific addition to early sex education.
Another charming entry in a delightful natural-science series. (glossary, index) (Informational picture book. 7-10)