Animal Life Cycles: Growing and Changing


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7787-2278-3
DDC j571.8'1




Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings, a former elementary-school teacher-librarian with the
Durham Board of Education, is an educational consultant.


These latest four titles in the Nature’s Changes series are filled
with easy-to-understand information accompanied by eye-catching photos,
diagrams, borders, and sidebars.

In Animal Life Cycles: Growing and Changing, animals are divided into
two groups—those that are born and those that are hatched—and the
life cycle of each animal is described. The first group is represented
by raccoons, koalas, humpback whales, and monk seals. Orioles, rattle-
snakes, Komodo dragons, seahorses, spiders, ladybugs, grasshoppers,
frogs, and worms represent the second group. Though the focus is
primarily on the changes that occur from birth or hatching to maturity,
there is a brief discussion of further changes during adulthood that
occur in animals with long life spans (e.g., loss of teeth, decreased
mobility). The book concludes with a quiz, a list of suggested books for
further reading, and the URL of a useful website.

Two of the books—Changing Weather: Storms and Plants in Different
Habitats—begin with questions central to their themes such as What is
weather? What are storms? and What are plants? Changing Weather focuses
on the causes of storms, and the methods and equipment used by
meteorologists to forecast the weather. Thunderstorms, hailstorms,
tornadoes, blizzards, ice storms, and hurricanes (including the
devastating Katrina and Rita storms in 2005) are covered. The book
concludes with a brief discussion of global warming and offers tips for
conserving energy, thus reducing pollution. Plants in Different Habitats
identifies the many places plants are found: boreal, broad-leafed, and
tropical forests; grasslands; deserts; mountains; polar regions;
wetlands; and in fresh water. Examples of plants that grow in each along
with the adaptations that allow them to flourish are provided. A warning
about introducing non-native plants into an area is given, citing the
familiar purple loosestrife as an example. A plant and habitat matching
activity adds interest.

The usual terms—vapour, liquid, solid, condensation, evaporation,
transpiration, and groundwater—are clearly explained with the aid of
diagrams and demonstrations in The Water Cycle. The importance of water
to sustain life is stressed along with the need to keep water supplies
free of pollution.

Each of the attractive and colourful volumes includes a table of
contents, a glossary, and an index, and best of all, they are written to
support specific areas of the curriculum. All four books are


Kalman, Bobbie., “Animal Life Cycles: Growing and Changing,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,