Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard

Horn Book (January/February, 2012)

Alice and her family have a wonderful plot of land upon which they grow edible plants, raise chickens, and enjoy their many interactions with the wide variety of living things in their backyard ecosystem. Changes that occur during the garden growing season are attractively portrayed in Lamont's cheery illustrations, where even the bugs and dirt are irresistibly appealing. Also included is scientific information about such topics as composting, plant life cycles, food chains and food webs, and nutrition. The anthropomorphized chickens, it seems, are quite science-savvy, as their direct addresses to readers throughout the text explain the underlying facts. Particularly effective is the careful building of the concept of the food web from initial discussions of what eats what to full consideration of interdependent food relationships. danielle j. ford

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