Sunday, September 29, 2013

Alien Invaders: Species that Threaten Our World by Jane Drake & Ann Love

Published by Tundra Books
Illustrated by Mark Thurman
Reviewed for Edwards Book Club

This is an excellent book for all ages. Highly informative, beautifully illustrated, and innovative in its presentation. Never would I have known there was such a thing as yellow crazy ants! Fortunately in our area there are none...yet. They are, however, in North America in the South.

The histories of these invaders, from molecular size across the world to wild pigs in Hawaii are fascinating. It was interesting to learn about volunteer groups working together to control some of the faster moving invading plants. A map in the book clearly demonstrates the distances these species have taken to get to their new homes, with arrows going across the world from and to. This map did more to increase my awareness than I would have expected. Who knew that Giant African snails are known to eat stucco and paint on buildings? Not just in Africa, where they came from, but in the southern United States, as well as several other unfortunate countries. The book was a Finalist for the Ontario Library Association's Silver Birch Aware-Nonfiction, Nominated for the Red Cedar Book Award and Selected as a Canadian Toy Testing Council's Great Book.

This is by far the best book of its kind I have read. It is only 56 pages long in the format I have, is sturdy and colourful, but in a few words states the threat and the cycle clearly. It is not bogged down with a lot of superfluous words or confusing ecological terms and scare tactics. Everything is clear, precise, pictured, a well-written overall book by Jane Drake and Ann Love with wonderful illustrations by Mark Thurman that is enjoyable and educational at the same time.

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