Monday, May 22, 2023

Today's read... A Home for Every Plant by Matthew Biggs

Today's read swings into the nonfiction realm and botanical world. Add the colorful cover, and I was excited to get a peek. It hit the shelves earlier this month, right in time for the growing season in our part of the world. I saw 'our part' because this book covers various climates and the plant life, which is found in these areas. It promises to introduce interesting plants and offer a variety of knowledge...and that in an interesting way for middle graders.

And I'll give a little bit of a hint at the goodness this one holds in store by saying that this one is hitting my possible favorites of 2023 list, too.

Wonders of the Botanical World
by Matthew Biggs
Illustrated by Lucila Perini
Phaidon Press
Middle Grade Nonfiction
128 pages
ages 6 to 10

Journey across 40 incredible habitats around the world to discover the biggest, boldest, and stinkiest plants Without plants there would be no life on Earth, but most people are blind to their impact. This stylish and informative introduction to plants sets out to cure ‘plant blindness’ by introducing children to 66 amazing plants from the six major climactic zones around the world. From the smelliest, such as the massive Titan Arum of the Indonesian rainforest, which stinks of rotting flesh to attract insects, to the hardest-working, including peat moss, an overlooked bog plant that helps protect our planet by trapping carbon dioxide, readers will learn about the vital role of plants in Nature through detailed, vibrant illustrations and fascinating facts. Children will also learn how to use their new-found knowledge of the plant’s natural environment to care for the plants around them and at home. Matthew Biggs’ research included consulting eminent botanists around the globe and referencing scientific papers. This book teaches children about plants in the context of their natural environment, and is ideal for geography and biology curricular tie ins, as well as being a book that will inspire children to love and care for the plants around them. This is the perfect compendium for plant-lovers, budding gardeners, and would-be botanists and nature-lovers alike. 



The vibrant, rich world of plants unfolds on every page with tons of information and even do-it-yourself hints and tips.

This book rotates around plants, hitting many different habitats to demonstrate how diverse and amazing this form of life truly is. Broken down into various climates, everything from deserts to tropics and more is explored. Sixty plants are explored, and these aren't simply mentioned and skimmed over, but the author takes the time to portray each one, explains each one and points out its special attributes along the way. These are very well illustrated to make sure the reader sees and understands each bit of information. To give readers a more hands-on experience, there are suggests of various plants from each of the six zones, which can be grown at home, mentioned and explained as well. 

If the topic of plants seems boring, this book proves otherwise. The information is brought across in an interesting, easy-to-read-and-digest manner. The illustrations fill most of the page, allowing the details and explanations to have something to root into, so the reader sees immediately what is meant. The text is clear and concise, never talking down nor rattling on more than necessary. Each mentioned attribute is explained in a way, which makes sense and teaches about planets and their habitats. And the plants chosen are interesting, offering often unexpected characteristics, which are sure to grab readers' attentions. All the while, the habitats and climate conditions and their effects on the plant life in these areas is also presented, making this even great for homeschoolers or smaller research.

Not only is it fun to flip through this book and discover all the interesting information about plants, but it offers sections, which show readers how to grow their own. Several options are presented with brief descriptions, growing tips, things to watch out for, and more. And this is brief, while offering enough for kids to dive right into their own planting projects.

I would recommend this one all the way up to 12 years of age, and believe it to be a valuable resource. It's vibrant, interesting, extremely informative, and fun.

And here they are...

Author Matthew Biggs, a graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is a wellknown British gardener, broadcaster and author of fifteen gardening and plant related books. He is a panel member on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time.

Illustrator Lucila Perini is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her illustrations can be found in leading publications, advertising campaigns and digital media worldwide, including the Los Angeles TimesThe Washington PostThe Boston Globe, Airbnb, Citroen, and more.

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