Madeleine Dunphy’s award-winning Web of Life series about animals and the environment:
This series provides an introduction to the major ecosystems of our planet. In the case of Here Is the Tropical Rain Forest, the book begins with rain, the very thing that defines this environment. Using a cumulative style, the book goes on to show the relationships between some of the animals and plants of the tropical rain forest. The frog bathes in the rain. The bromeliad shelters the frog. The tree holds the bromeliad. The sloth hangs from the tree and so on. The book ends, as it began, with rain, thus completing the circle.
The primary goal of the series is to teach children about the interdependency of wildlife – that one animal depends upon the next for survival. As John Muir stated, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” Ultimately, I hope that children will discover that they too are inextricably linked in this complex and intricate chain of life.
Cat in the Night
In Cat in the Night, Rusty, the cat, slips outside through an open window while his owner, a little girl, sleeps. Children will experience the world through Rusty’s eyes, ears, nose, whiskers, and feet as he travels the neighborhood meeting up with other nocturnal animals, such as a skunk, a mouse, an opossum, a couple of raccoons, and ultimately another cat. When the sun rises, Rusty returns to the little girl’s bed, where he falls asleep just as she wakes up. The girl is left with the impression that Rusty has been there all night long. The book concludes with “More About Cats,” giving readers further information about cats and their senses.
The Peregrine’s Journey: A Story of Migration
This book follows a peregrine falcon on her yearly migration that begins in northern Alaska and ends two months and 8,000 miles later in Argentina.
During her migration, the peregrine visits the Arctic, desert, tropical rain forest, a city and even spends the night on a ship on the Gulf of Mexico. The book is based on a real peregrine falcon that was tracked by satellite telemetry by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
At Home with the Gopher Tortoise: The Story of a Keystone Species
At Home with the Gopher Tortoise: The Story of a Keystone Species is about the gopher tortoise and the more than 360 different kinds of animals that depend upon it for survival. From owls to rabbits to skunks to scorpions, many animals use gopher tortoise burrows for shelter, food, or a place to raise their young. In this fascinating tale of ecological interdependency, children learn that the fate of one species can affect the fate of many.