We are so excited by this new picture book that we couldn’t wait until April 15, 2014 (when it is published) to talk about it.
Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Betsy Bowen is a lovely breath of springtime.
Betsy Bowen’s woodblock print illustrations grab the reader’s attention right away. They capture the feeling of movement and the look of the prairies beautifully.
The text is also lovely, written in free verse. Author Phyllis Root starts by disclosing how the prairies are almost all gone. She then highlights examples of relationships between specific plants and animals in the prairie ecosystem, such as between foxglove beardtongue (a type of Penstemon) and hummingbirds; monarch butterflies and milkweeds; and goldfinches and sunflowers. She explains that by growing these plants, even in small pockets, the animals that use them will come to visit.
In the back matter are lists of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and plants found in prairies, perfect for a jumping off point for designing a garden or writing a report about prairies. Even though it explores the prairies of Minnesota, the book has a much more general appeal and a serious message about preserving habitats that applies anywhere.