Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Life in the Boreal Forest


by Brenda Z. Guiberson
illustrated by Gennady Spirin
New York: Holt, 2009. unpaged. Non-fiction.
A lovely guiltmaker, Life in the Boreal Forest, features Gennady Spirin's breathtakingly beautiful, faintly Slavic renderings of forest landscapes and wildlife draw the reader into a narrative where snowshoe hares are starving to death, their surprisingly low numbers stressing larger predators in the food chain, tiny voles die in the cold, and a decline in old-growth forests and clean air threaten the lichen that caribou eat. And, it's all your fault. Human incursions and development are wrecking the boreal forest, just like they are ruining everything else and don't you forget it. So, enjoy the splendid pictures and the knowledgeable narrative, but be mentally prepared for a sharp smack upside the head as the price you pay.

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