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*Planet Ark: Preserving Earth's Biodiversity* by Adrienne Mason, illustrated by Margot Thompson
Planet Ark: Preserving Earth's Biodiversity
by Adrienne Mason, illustrated by Margot Thompson
Grades 4-6 32 pages Kids Can Press April 2013 Hardcover    

The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity is several years into its 2011-2020 span. It focuses on the healthy coexistence and enrichment of the millions of species cohabiting Earth. The goal is to facilitate an overall improvement on the health of the planet. Each species in its own habitat contributes a unique symbiosis of give-and-take that works in a chain reaction fulfillment of other species and of the planet's needs for sustainability and fertile growth.

Planet Ark: Preserving Earth's Biodiversity takes readers on an adventure through the environments, facts, and interactions of animals and plants in their natural habitats. Environments range from farmland to the Sahara, into the tropical rainforests and down into the ocean's expansive collage of life. Notable animal and plant species that play parts in interconnectedness represent various aspects of their existences, individually as well as in a habitat community.

Author Adrienne Mason emphasizes a clear need for corrective and preventative actions to salvage the integrity of Earth's biodiversity before the damage caused by humans becomes catastrophically devastating all living things on the planet. Ways to become a preserver and activist in support of biodiversity are gently included to encourage young and old to rally on behalf of the planet and sustainable life on it. A little sometimes goes a long way, even small but solid efforts on behalf of a cause--planting trees, oil spill pickups, river cleanups, etc. Readers of all ages will enjoy the well-researched chapters on biodiversity in a broad expanse of environments, species, and interconnectedness. To become a global citizen is to not only care but to be informed and take a role in the betterment of conditions.

Author Mason and and illustrator Margot Thompson have teamed up for an excellent children's picture book. In addition to the vibrant and beautiful illustrations, the subject matter is eloquently delivered without detracting from the importance of the overall message. Some similar reads of note are Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth by Rochelle Strauss and If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World's People by David J. Smith.

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