What Is a Forest?


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Index
ISBN 0-86505-969-1
DDC j577.3




Reviewed by Deborah L. Begoray

Deborah L. Begoray is chair of the Department of Curriculum and
Instruction in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria in
British Columbia.


These latest four volumes add to the growing list of quality titles in
the Science of Living Things series.

What Are Wetlands? studies freshwater and saltwater wetland ecosystems,
including the different kinds of habitats (bogs, marshes, swamps, fens),
wildlife (from alligators to insects), and plants, as well as the
effects pollution is having on wetlands. What Is a Cat? covers big cats
and small cats, wild and domestic, endangered species, and different
breeds. What Is a Forest? describes the different types of forest
ecosystems (boreal, temperate, tropical) and the species that inhabit
them. What Is an Arthropod? looks at invertebrates, such as insects,
arachnids, and crustaceans, that are characterized by an exoskeleton and
a segmented body with appendages.

All of the volumes follow the same well-organized series format: a
table of contents, followed by an easy-to-read text in large type
(difficult or unusual words are emphasized in bold type and explained in
the text or defined in a glossary), and an index providing easy access
to the material. The books feature superb colour photographs (students
will especially enjoy the close-up shots, like the one of the spiny
devil katydid in What Is an Arthropod?), informative diagrams (such as
the one that explains photosynthesis in What Is a Forest?), detailed
anatomical drawings (such as the one showing the position of retracted
and extended claws in What Is a Cat?), and a list of websites where
students can find further information.

One final note: a scientist friend noticed that What Is an Arthropod?
fails to include information on a very common arthropod—the sow bug or
pill bug—which actually has gills and is easily found in most gardens.
Nonetheless, all four volumes are recommended.


Kalman, Bobbie, and Kathryn Smithyman., “What Is a Forest?,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/30846.