The Boreal Forest: A Year in the World’s Largest Land Biome

Written by: L.E. Carmichael

Illustrated by: Josée Bisaillon

For ages: 8-12 years 

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Biology, Pint-Sized Professor, Nature, Non-Fiction, Animals, Boreal Forest, Indigenous Voices. 

Summary: 

This is a really fascinating book that spans a whole year in the world’s largest biome.  I really liked how it’s designed for older elementary readers, because everyone loves beautifully illustrated books we can also learn from (right??) and this fills that brief exactly.

The boreal forest spans the globe in a horizontal line across Alaska, Canada, and over to Russia.  The book has information broken down by both season and country, which was very helpful.  The text boxes give a plethora of information but don’t overwhelm the page’s lovely illustrations of wildlife. An extensive glossary in the back helps to keep the book streamlined and the page text down. I learned so much, like why bears eat dirt at certain points throughout the year and how climate change is affecting the forest.

There is an author’s note in the back that discusses how the creators of the book contacted various representatives of  Indigenous groups to the boreal forest, and they gave permission to share some of their Traditional Knowledge.  The note specifically mentions the individuals and the tribal nation they are members of.  There is also a long list of sources, articles, and books.

This book was sent to us by Kids Can Press, but all opinions are our own!  Overall this is an awesome book and I can definitely see it being a valuable resource for any science classroom.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

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The author of more than 20 science books for children and young adults, Lindsey writes to spark her readers’ curiosity and ignite their imaginations. “I’ve been a fact addict since I was a kid,” she says, “and those are the kids I write for—the ones who are passionate about a topic, or who will be, as soon as they discover the right book.” She believes that great non-fiction inspires a love of learning, but also a love of reading. “A lot of kids who think they don’t like to read simply don’t like to read fiction. But give them access to cool information, and they’ll devour it.” She’s seen this transformation first-hand. A popular speaker, Lindsey presents in Canadian classrooms and libraries every year. “We always run out of time before the kids run out of questions! And once,” she adds, “a boy told me that he’d never liked science, but because of my presentation, he wants to be a scientist someday, too. That might be the greatest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”

While best known for her ability to make STEM topics engaging, relevant, and fun, Lindsey also writes the kinds of fantasy and adventure stories she loved as a kid. “Science tells us about the world,” she says, “but stories show us how we experience it—and they have such power to illuminate experiences other than our own. We need the empathy and compassion that stories inspire now more than ever.”

When not immersed in her latest work-in-progress, Lindsey is passionate about teaching and mentoring other writers. She’s taught writing courses and workshops from coast to coast, at universities, libraries, conventions, and conferences. “I love helping new writers build their confidence and find their voices. Besides,” she adds, “publishing is a tough business, and I wouldn’t have made it without the support of my community. Teaching is a way to pay that forward.”

Lindsey lives in Ontario with her husband and a six-toed cat named Sasquatch.

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As a young girl, Josée Bisaillon loved drawing cats and houses. She really enjoyed school and always returned home full of stories to tell. She liked being in the classroom so much that she pursued her education all the way to university, where she studied graphic design. It was there that she fell in love with illustration.

Since 2005, with scissors and brushes in hand, Josée has illustrated more than 30 children’s books, as well as magazines and newspapers for adults, all around the world.

Josée lives just outside of Montreal with her spouse, their 3 children one hairless cat and many paper characters.

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