The Prairie that Nature Built

prairie nature builtThe Prairie that Nature Built
by Marybeth Lorbiecki; illus. by Cathy Morrison
32 pages; ages 4-10
Dawn Publications, 2014

“This is the prairie that nature built.” Starting with the critters that worm and squirm under the prairie, and the diggers that burrow, Marybeth Lorbiecki builds a prairie bit by bit. Soon it’s populated with plants and insects, birds and beasts… all playing essential roles in maintaining the prairie.

This is one of those books that’s just plain fun to read. Everyone living on the prairie has a role: tunneling, rooting, providing food, hunting to keep the population in balance. I also like the detailed illustrations, and the way Cathy Morrison uses the page. Sometimes you need to turn the book to get the full length of it all, from root to sky. I also like how, in the end, Lorbiecki brings the prairie home to us, as a place where a child and her dog could roam and explore.

As with all Dawn books, there is great back matter. This one ends with a “Prairie Primer” and some more in-depth notes about the soil partners, grazers, flowers and other life essential to the prairie ecology. There’s a page full of Prairie Fun activities, and some resources: books, websites and more.

Drop by Sally’s Bookshelf for some “beyond the book” activities.

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