Ten ways that plants move are described with detailed silhouette art and a moderate amount of text.
The graphic art stands out beautifully within thin black frames against stark white pages. Bold green lettering and an appropriate plant image decorate each single-page chapter heading. The short chapters begin with a plant introducing itself by its common name. Sometimes a plant also addresses readers directly, as with the strawberry: “You know me well, and you love to eat my sweet, red fruit.” However, most of the plants’ supposed narrations move quickly into scientific explanations, including simple definitions of terms such as calyx, pollination, and samara. (Further definitions occur in the backmatter.) There is enough information contained here that the book will benefit from reading over multiple sittings. It excels as a reference book, especially since the graphic art is so clearly detailed that reluctant or beginning readers will be able to learn a great deal from the illustrations alone. The sequence about plant seeds traveling by animal excrement is amazingly graceful, informative, and subtle—in both words and art. Similarly, clear sequences of frames show such things as a winsome fox carrying and dropping a burr and a water lily’s fruit developing and decomposing. Groupings of 24 cultivated plants by place of origin—albeit stated as incomplete—jar with the omissions of Africa, North America, and Oceania. The few examples of human skin are light-complexioned.
Leaf and learn.