Jeannie Baker The Story of Rosy Dock

ISBN 13: 9780688114930

The Story of Rosy Dock

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9780688114930: The Story of Rosy Dock
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An introduction to environmental awareness describes how a single rosy dock garden in Australia was spread throughout the country on the wind, threatening the native plants and animals in the southern, central, and western regions.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 4?Baker examines the consequences of introducing non-native flora and fauna into the environment. An unthinking gardener cultivates rosy dock in the central desert of Australia and the seeds spread over a wide area during a flash flood. Now, when precious rain falls, the imported plant thrives at the expense of native species. The book's final illustration depicts a field of gloriously blooming rosy dock hiding several rabbits, agricultural pests also introduced into Australia. American children will find this scene irresistible and will be understandably confused to turn the page and discover in an endnote that the author did not intend the previous spread to be beautiful. As she explains, the entire nature of a landscape changes when people transplant plants and animals into an environment that lacks their normal predators. Baker's point is important and timely, but the text is so straightforward and nonjudgmental in charting the plants' dramatic spread that the information contained in the endnote comes as a surprise. This point aside, the book's collage illustrations are equal to the best of Baker's earlier work in Where the Forest Meets the Sea (1988) and Home in the Sky (1984, both Greenwillow). She evokes the stark beauty of the red landscape, amazingly re-creates the waves of the flooding river, and adds interest to most of the scenes with small details such as people and animals. A welcome addition to whole-language classrooms studying ecology, biology, Australia, deserts, and art.?Ellen Fader, Oregon State Library, Salem
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

As in her previous picture books, Baker (Window; Where the Forest Meets the Sea) uses her exceptional "collage constructions," crisply photographed here, to make an environmental statement. Unfortunately, this volume lacks the hard-hitting impact, both visual and thematic, of her earlier works. "For thousands of years almost nothing here changed," writes Baker of the area around Australia's Finke River. Then come European settlers, among them a woman who "brought seeds from the other side of the world and planted a garden." One plant-rosy dock-is a special favorite of this fictional gardener. Seemingly three-dimensional but muted renderings of the riverbed landscape show the area ravaged by cyclical periods of drought and flood, until, after fierce storms, rosy dock "is spreading like a great red blanket farther than the eye can see." A cautionary message comes almost as a surprise, in a concluding note: "Without their normal predators, some non-native plants and animals multiply so quickly they change whole landscapes and push many native plants and animals to extinction." Young readers, however, are likely to be more troubled by the sudden disappearance of the rosy-dock gardener, last seen huddling on the roof of her home as it is swept along by raging waters. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Jeannie Baker
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