Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Question Time Explore and Discover: Rainforest

Question Time Explore and Discover: Rainforest

Angela Wilkes
For ages 7 to 9
Kingfisher, 2002   ISBN: 0753454386

There was a time, not that long ago, when people did not know much about rainforests, and did not appreciate how special they are. Nowadays people are more aware of the fact that rainforests are unique places that we need to preserve as much as possible. Why is this though? What is it about rainforests that make them so unique?

In this book, author Angela Wilkes uses a clever format to teach young readers about rain forests. She does this by posing a number of questions, which she then answers. The first question she asks, not surprisingly, is “What is a rain forest?” She explains that a rain forest is a “dense, steamy forest that grows in tropical countries where it is hot all the time.” She then goes on to explain why trees in these environments grow so tall, and what kinds of animals live in them.

On the first double page spread there are annotated illustrations, a photograph, all kinds of facts about rainforests, and a box containing text that recaps what you have learned on that page. Readers are also invited to “Look and Find” something. On these pages, the hidden object is a flying toucan.

This same format is repeated on every page and the questions asked and answered include “Who lives in the treetops?” “What is an epiphyte?” and “Why do howler monkeys make so much noise.” Readers will find out that one of the smallest animals in the world, the pygmy chameleon, is found in rainforests. They will also discover that the top of a rain forest tree can be “as big as a soccer field,” and that rainforest blue-crowned parrots sleep upside-down, just like bats.

At the back of the book, readers will find a rainforest quiz, a glossary, and an index. Packed with information and with richly detailed illustrations throughout, this is a book that will help children to learn a great deal about rainforest ecosystems.

This is one in a series of Question Time titles.