Sunday, December 30, 2018

Ride the River of Grass! Everglades National Park by Karina Hamalainen

Florida's Everglades National Park is a superlative place!

Located at the tip of the Sunshine State, it's the farthest south in the U.S. It is the only sub-tropical park in the United States.

It is the wettest, with much of it under water for part of the year, so it's certainly the swampiest!

The Everglades is not the biggest park, but if it were a state, it would be bigger than Delaware.

For variety, the Everglades National Park has plenty to offer. There are swamps which must be explored by canoe or airboat, the famed "River of Grass." There are three types of forests--the pinelands, the hardwood hammocks with mahogany and oak trees, and the cypress domes where rare orchids grow, not in soil, but on the trees.

And unusual animals are everywhere--the rare Florida panther, large wading birds like herons, roseate spoonbills, and egrets, and alligators and crocodiles in the only place in the U.S. where they can be seen together.

The park is home to about 360 types of birds, 40 types of mammals, 67 types of reptiles and amphibians, and 300 types of fish.

With Ranger Red Fox at the ready to guide young readers through the park, Karina Hamalainen's brand-new Everglades National Park (Rookie National Parks) (Children's Press/Scholastic, 2018) is filled with full-page color photos which illustrate the variety of animals and plants in the interior and the Thousand Islands coastal area, which includes coral keys and mangrove islands. For fishing, boating, and touring the warm waterways, the Everglades is a unique American place, and author Hamalainen's easy reading text and clear organization makes this one very accessible for primary and elementary grades for both geography reports and vacation planning. Included is a map of the Everglades Park, a link to Scholastic Web Site for further information, and and a brief index.

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