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by E.o. Wilson

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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9-Threads from Patent's personal experiences in Costa Rica and North America are woven with scientific strands to provide a perspective on the tapestried life that shapes our planet. The clearly written text, comfortably conversational in tone, is readily approachable and organized to lead novices through the unknown landscapes of DNA, natural selection, keystone species, and the like, with a minimum of mental discomfort. Examples have been carefully chosen to acquaint young people with the intricacies of interdependency and to explain why such a rich biodiversity is essential to planetary well-being. Also included are current efforts of scientific/conservation groups to name organisms before they vanish and to preserve habitats and the life forms that inhabit them. This lucid introduction is accompanied by bright, full-color photos, and its large format and well-planned layout are attractive and inviting. Even if you own Laurence Pringle's Living Treasure (Morrow, 1991), you should make space on the shelf for this lively new presentation.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist
Gr. 6^-10. The subject of biodiversity is as big as nature. It's about everything, or at least about the connections between everything. Only by focusing on particulars is it at all possible to explain some of the issues and processes. Patent uses lots of examples--of various habitats and ecosystems and keystone species--but nothing is discussed in depth, and the generalizations seem random. Many paragraphs could be in any chapter. The same thing applies to the glorious color photographs: it is not always clear how they relate to the pages they are on. It's those photographs, however, that will draw readers to the subject. This is a book for browsing, with an alluring cover, a handsome, spacious design, and a crucial message. Hazel Rochman

From Kirkus Reviews
Patent (Children Save the Rain Forest, p. 903, etc.) stresses the importance of protecting the planet's rich gene pool for the survival of all species, and makes clear that seemingly insignificant species may provide medicines and products of great usefulness. With plants and animals in tropical Costa Rica and the more temperate US as models, Patent demonstrates how life forms evolve, adapt, and become extinct. She describes the natural forces of evolution and the threat posed by people. Readers learn of the private and public efforts to catalog and conserve plants and animals, e.g., Costa Rica's National Institute of Biodiversity, a government program that trains local people to collect and categorize specimens. Although Patent mentions the government agreements with drug companies that encourage exploration in exchange for a percentage of the profit when useful substances are identified, there is no discussion of the ethical considerations. The many handsome, full-color photographs are not always well placed and sometimes are only marginally related to the text. Still, this is an attractive and personal discussion of an important issue. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

"This lucid introduction is accompanied by bright, full-color photos, and its large format and well-planned layout are attractive and inviting."

Book Description
A photo essay demonstrating the concept of biodiversity, a term used to encompass the many forms of life on Earth and their interdependence on one another for survival. The reader not only gets a firm grasp of what biodiversity is, but also an explanation of why it is important to maintain.

Card catalog description
Provides a global perspective on environmental issues while demonstrating the concept which encompasses the many forms of life on earth and their interdependence on one another for survival.

About the Author
William Muñoz has an avid interest in ecology and the environment and has taken the photographs for a number of books written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Mr. Muñoz lives in Hamilton, Montana. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent was born in Minnesota and grew up in Marin County, California. She received a BA in biological sciences from Stanford University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Patent holds a Ph.D. in zoology and is the author of more than 100 books for children and young adults, many of which have been selected as Outstanding Science Trade Books for children. In 1987, she received the Eva L. Gordon Award from the American Nature Study Society in recognition of her outstanding contribution to science literature for young readers. She has collaborated on several award-winning books with photographer William Muñoz. Dr. Patent lives in Missoula, Montana, with her husband.



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