One of the first things you notice about the Sonoran Desert (where I live) is the extreme variety of plants, some of which are pretty bizarre. Take, for example, trees with green bark instead of leaves or a plant that looks like a giant carrot root sticking upside down out of the ground (a boojum tree). One of the most iconic, the saguaro cactus, is even featured in the book, Peculiar Plants (Read Me!: Extreme Nature) by Anita Ganeri. This nonfiction picture book will intrigue older children (level 3-5) who are reading at level 1-3.
Each unusual plant is featured in a two-page spread with big color photographs and a “Did You Know?” sidebar with an interesting fact about each. Plants range from a giant sequoia to a tiny edelweiss. Note: technically the giant kelp in the book are actually algae, which are now sometimes classified as protists rather than plants.
The book wraps up with a “What Am I?” quiz to help reinforce learning. It also has a glossary and places to “Find Out More.”
Peculiar Plants would be a great book to accompany a unit on plants and especially to entice struggling readers to learn more about these fascinating oddities of nature.
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Heinemann-Raintree (August 1, 2012)
Book was provided for review purposes.
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