I really like the illustrations in the book, especially the title with the roots dangling down from the word ROOTS. Throughout the book, the illustrations are detailed and engaging, showcasing various habitats and places. I also really like how various concepts are illustrated, like the variety of roots in the garden and a comparison page of different trees with roots on one page spread.
The book uses a rhyming text to share information about roots. From reading the book, I learn that roots:
- Hold plants up straight in the wind
- Hold plants growing on a slant
- Keep plants in place if we're walking or playing on a plant (we play on plants? Of course--grass, trees, and more!)
- Plants use roots to drink
- Plants use tubes to send the water to other parts of the plant
- Plants may have rootlets, taproots, a trunk, branches, twigs, and leaves
- Extra water "blows away on a breeze"
- Half of a tree is hidden underground in the form of roots
- Plants will usually die if we break off the roots
- We can care for plants by not digging them up
- We can water plants to help care for them
- We eat some underground roots, like carrots, potatoes, and radishes
- Cactus roots spread out far to find precious water
- Water lilies have roots in the ground under the water
"Whenever you look at a plant short or tall,
remember, you don't see the whole thing at all."
Most pages have an appropriate text per page for a read aloud. The book shares so much information, as in the list above. I find the rhyming text awkward at times. If I were to use this as a read aloud book, I would really have to practice reading it more times than normal as I would trip over some parts of it. I could also use the concepts presented and great illustrations and just say my own version of the material.
While solid concepts are presented in the book about roots, some additions I might add include the following. These could also be supplemental activities to explore with your little one or group:
- An information sheet for adults about what roots do in non-fiction format.
- A couple of activities to explore roots with a child.
- A comparison page of various roots.
- How animals interact with roots.
- A look at native plants versus non-native plants. Typically, a native plant will have deeper and stronger roots to prevent erosion. Here is a program we went to on invasive plants.
- Suggestions for service projects to help plants and roots. One invasive plant we enjoy removing is garlic mustard, as it's very easy to pull out!
- Printable activity sheet on roots--here is one I found with a lesson plan.
I always like connecting art into things we learn as well. This is a cool art piece about roots from a Brazilian sculptor. Check it out!
To learn more about the author, check out her website.
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