Title: I Wonder What a Rainforest IsI Wonder What a Rainforest Is
Author: Annabelle Donati
Illustrator: Sharron O’Neil
Pages: 32
Recommended Ages: 8 & up
Star Rating: ★★★★

I bought this book thinking that it was a book about rainforests – a natural inference from the title. But what I had neglected to notice was the subtitle – ‘and other neat facts about plants’. So, instead of learning about jaguars, tarantulas, and sloths, I learned about flowers, foliage, and pollination.

I’m not big on botany. I understand the basics of how plants work – root systems, photosynthesis, reproduction – and little else. But this book made plants interesting – after reading it, I’m thinking about re-reading the botany section from my biology course.

Like I said – thinking about. : )

Here are a few of the fascinating facts I learned from I Wonder what a Rainforest Is.

  • The carrion flower plant has blossoms with drab-colored petals that look like raw meat. These blossoms have a meatlike odor that attracts the flies that pollinate them.
  • Coconut seeds have a waterproof shell designed to float in water. The milk inside the coconut provides the liquid the seed needs to sprout when it washes up on a sandy beach.
  • Even the smoke from burning poison ivy is poisonous. The fumes can cause loss of breath and coughing!
  • Water lilies that grow in the Amazon rainforest in South America have leaves six feet wide – larger than most dinner-table tops – and flowers three feet across!
  • If you soak raisins or other dried fruits in water for a few hours, they will regain their original shape.

I’m totally going to test that last one!

It is mentioned that the ancient Chinese thought lotus blossoms were sacred. It is said that seeds were found buried which were ten thousand years old.

Conclusion.  A good resource – I’ve found plants much more interesting since reading this.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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