CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Barbara Batulla

Winnipeg, Hyperion Press, 1990. 39pp, paper, $5.95, ISBN 0-920534-57-0. (Wilderness Album series).
Distributed by Sterling Publishing c/o Canadian Manda Group. CIP


Robert E. Wrigley
Illustrated by K. Dahl and J. Doran

Winnipeg, Hyperion Press, 1990, 39pp, paper, $5.95, ISBN 0-920534-53-8. (Wilderness Album series).
Distributed by Sterling Publishing c/o Canadian Manda Group. CIP

Grades 4 and up/Ages 9 and up
Reviewed by Peter Croskery.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

Reptiles and Amphibians and Inverte­brates are two new additions to Sterling/ Hyperion Books' "Wilderness Album" series. Nature Stories for Children, As with the previous books in the series, each is a large format, colouring-book-style publication with informative text presented on the page opposite a line drawing. Previous publications have received widespread classroom use by teachers and nicely complement many aspects of environmental education curricula.

In Reptiles and Amphibians, thirty-eight species are reviewed in text and illustration. Unlike Invertebrates, where there is a strong child-story aspect to the text, the text in Reptiles and Amphibians tends to be more factual. The Reptiles and Amphibians illustrations are half-page with good detail but many have too much black, thus hurting their colouring value. Whereas the Inverte­brates illustrations are full-page, they lack the quality of Reptiles and Amphib­ians and many organisms get "lost" in the environmental detail of the illustra­tions.

Most of the reptile and amphibian species selected are the more common North American species; however, why the Caecilian, a Mexican-Central American species, was included in the collection and the Black Water Snake was excluded is unknown. In total, the species include many not native to Canada and several of very restricted geographical range (Alligator, Croco­dile, Desert Tortoise).

For Invertebrates, how and why the organisms represented were selected is unclear. Unlike Reptiles and Amphibians, which deals at the species level, Inverte­brates deals with broader taxonomic groups and not with individual species.

Whereas the text of Reptiles and Amphibians is consistent throughout the book, the same cannot be said for Invertebrates. Using "head" in reference to the anterior end of an earthworm is acceptable when explaining functions to a child, but would the same child understand "connective tissue" as used in the nematode section?

Both books are nicely packaged, good value for the money, and of excellent educational value if used effectively by an adult working with children. In future publications, I hope Sterling/Hyperion Books will capitalize the common names of wildlife, a practice expected by the environmental community.

Charles Ottosen, Airdrie Public Library, Airdrie, Alta.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works