THIS PLACE IS COLD; THIS PLACE IS DRY by Vicki Cobb

THIS PLACE IS COLD; THIS PLACE IS DRY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Boldy decorative, full-color paintings and cheerful, informative texts introduce the adaptations necessary to cope with two diverse environments. Alaskan plants, animals, and people make special adaptations to cold: polar bears have black skin to absorb heat; the walrus' thick layer of fat holds warmth; lichens survive on frozen ground with little water. Adaptations to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona include waxy coated greasewood trees losing their leaves in summer to reduce evaporation; animals as diverse as pack rats, tarantulas, and rattlesnakes surviving with little water. But while both of these books are handsome and easily read, condensation of texts and stylization of the art lead to misconceptions and imprecisions. Eskimos, Indians, gold seekers, and other Alaskans all have voluminous shapes and identical faces--pear-shaped forms represent Indians, cowboys, and tourists. A stylized road-runner bears little resemblance to the drab desert bird. Illustrations imply that whales are captured by lassoing them by the tail and are stripped of blubber without shedding blood. Cobb describes winter's frozen breath and eyelashes that freeze and fall off if rubbed--yet Lavallee shows Eskimos working on the winter ice without gloves. And though the illustrations are strikingly decorative, they dominate the text without adding to it. Indexes.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1989
ISBN: 8027-6852-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Walker