Plants Fight Back

Dawn. Dec. 2020. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781584696728; pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781584696735.
Gr 2-4–Full-page cartoon illustrations accompanied by rhyming text teach readers how to recognize and identify plants, including poison ivy, nettle, and poison oak. Dark-skinned and light-skinned children are depicted throughout the text. The illustration of a Boy Scout Troop hiking through the woods shows brown-skinned scouts with textured hair. The “Science Connection” section provides activities for teachers, educators, and/or group leaders to share with their students. “Literacy Connection” features tips for reading aloud and a short question and answer with Amstutz and Evans. A ten-word glossary is also included. Students are encouraged to design a plant and create a model of it. “Let’s Have a Plant Party” is available online as a student handout, with a diagram. Surprising plant facts will engage readers: “Some fold their leaves and pretend to be dead, in hopes that a predator might be misled”; “When cotton plants are being eaten by caterpillars, they send out an “SOS signal”—an invisible cloud of chemicals—into the air.”
VERDICT Teachers and educators looking for unique material to explain plant science might want to give this title a try.

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