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Full Text Review(s)
Each volume contains 144 pages divided into 7 articles of approximately 18-20 pages each. The volumes are arranged by the commonly used English names of families. Each article follows a standard format beginning with a profile that lists shared features and behaviors of individual species, as well as variety within the family, relationships to other groups, and classification information. This is followed by two-page spreads featuring such topics as family tree, habitats, anatomy, food and feeding, flight, visual signals, reproduction, survival, and endangered environments. Topics are further enhanced by sidebars of key facts, informational boxes, and distribution maps. Each article is well illustrated with photographs and artwork.
Volumes are indexed individually and cover the species, places, and behaviors mentioned in that particular volume. The comprehensive index is located in the last volume. Volume 11, however, is much more than an index volume. Besides providing thorough definitions of reptile and amphibian, risk categories, a glossary, a list of contents by category, bibliographic resources, and subject indexes are given. Resources include books, journals, Internet Web sites, places to visit, organizations, and a separate bibliographic list for younger readers. Especially useful will be the subject indexes providing scientific names, biological classification, habitats, geographical distribution, and behaviors. This set has an excellent binding that will withstand the repeated use it will receive. Each volume’s cover also has attractive illustrations.
The publisher recommends this set for grades 8 and up; however, the illustrations, key facts, and arrangement of the topics will appeal and be useful to students in lower grades as well. Public libraries will also find this a useful addition. This is a well-researched and thorough set and is highly recommended."
AMERICAN REFERENCE BOOKS ANNUAL
"This comprehensive resource is organized alphabetically by the common family names of animals as used in the U.S. Each section, from African Reed Frogs to Iguanas to Worm Lizards, includes an illustrated family tree that shows the relationships within the species, a profile giving important basic facts, some highlighted insights, and a ‘Focus On’ section that details a specific aspect of both common and rarely seen creatures. Anatomy, habitats, food, reproduction, and survival are all covered. The clear writing style makes this set valuable for a wide range of age and ability levels. The abundant mix of full-color photographs (including many close-ups) and drawings offers great detail, and a habitat map is provided for each animal. Difficult words and scientific terms are defined in context, and there is a glossary in the last volume. While exceedingly thorough, the many indexes (‘Comprehensive,’ ‘Behaviors,’ ‘Geographical Classification,’ ‘Biological Classification,’ and others) may confuse younger students. A list of Web sites includes governmental and nonprofit agencies. The final volume includes a lengthy explanation of the differences and similarities between amphibians and reptiles. This excellent resource will be used by report writers and enjoyed by browsers."
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL