HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Nature’s Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats
Author: Mary Miche
Illustrator: Consie Powell
Publisher: Dawn Publications, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1-58469-169-3 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1-58469-170-9 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-10
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Miche, Mary. Nature’s Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats (published in 2012 by Dawn Publications, 12402 Bitney Springs Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959). Do you know what a habitat is? Can you guess how a habitat is like a patchwork quilt? A habitat is an area where plants and animals live together. A patchwork quilt has many pieces that fit together, and nature has many different habitats all pieced together. With a brief, simple text, author Mary Miche discusses different kinds of habitats, such as forests, deserts, prairies, oceans, seashores, lakes and ponds, Arctic and high mountain regions, rainforests, towns and cities, and ranches and farms. As she does so, she also explains various ecology-related words like interdependence, niche, food chain, adaptations, food web, survival mechanisms, biodiversity, domestication, and extinction. What is your favorite habitat?
Illustrator Consie Powell uses folk-art style pictures of animals and plants, drawn in the fashion of patchwork quilts, to convey the beauty and diversity that are found in these habitats all over the world. The two do an excellent job of introducing environmental concepts to children in an easy-to-understand and age-appropriate way. The book has a couple of pages in the back with “Tips from the Author” on how to use it in an educational way with fun suggestions that pertain not only to science, but also to art, math, and history. In addition, at the publisher’s website there are free downloadable resources and activities for parents, teachers, and librarians. Pages 26 and 27 picture 21 famous environmentalists from the Earth Heroes book series by Dawn Publications, and students might do further research to learn more about some of them. Nature’s Patchwork Quilt would be very useful in nature studies.