Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root
  

Plant a Pocket of Prairie

Written by Phyllis Root
Illustrated by Betsy Bowen

Synopsis

Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root

Author Phyllis Root and illustrator Betsy Bowen last explored the vast, boggy peatlands of northern Minnesota in their book Big Belching Bog. Now, in Plant a Pocket of Prairie, Root and Bowen take young readers on a trip to another of Minnesota's important ecosystems: the prairie.Once covering almost 40 percent of the United States, native prairie is today one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. Plant a Pocket of Prairie teaches children how changes in one part of the system affect every other part: when prairie plants are destroyed, the animals who eat those plants and live on or around them are harmed as well. Root shows what happens when we work to restore the prairies, encouraging readers to plant a pocket of prairie in their own backyards.By growing native prairie plants, children can help re-create food and habitat for the many birds, butterflies, and other animals that depend on them. Plant cup plants, Root suggests. A thirsty chickadee might come to drink from a tiny leaf pool. Plant goldenrod. A Great Plains toad might flick its tongue at goldenrod soldier beetles. An easy explanation of the history of the prairie, its endangered status, and how to go about growing prairie plants follows, as well as brief descriptions of all the plants and animals mentioned in the story.With Betsy Bowen's beautiful, airy illustrations capturing the feel of an open prairie and all its inhabitants, readers of all ages will be inspired to start planting seeds and watching for the many fascinating animals their plants attract. What a marvelous transformation could take place if we all planted a pocket of prairie!

Reviews

In lilting, free-verse passages, [Root] lets kids know that even small plots of native plants can replicate prairie conditions. Bowen's woodblock illustrations lend the right low-tech, homemade feel to the pages. --Publishers Weekly Could well inspire a new generation of conservationists. --Kirkus Reviews Although the description here is of the inhabitants of a Midwestern prairie, the conservation and restoration message is universal. --Horn Book Magazine Plant a Pocket of Prairie is one of the spring season's most beautiful and useful books. --Pioneer Press

About the Author

Phyllis Root

As a child
Phyllis picked up an early affinity for colloquial language whilst growing up in Indiana and southern Illinois, “where people actually say things like, ‘I got a hitch in my git-along’!” She decided to be a writer in the fifth grade, but it wasn’t until she was thirty that she took a writing course with an influential teacher who gave her “the tools” she says she needed. “That’s when I figured out that you could learn to be a writer,” she says.

As an adult
When she’s not writing, Phyllis teaches at Vermont College’s MFA in Writing for Children programme. She lives with her two daughters and two cats in a 100-year-old house in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and loves to read (mostly mysteries with female protagonists) or spend time outdoors gardening, camping, sailing or travelling. “One of the things I’ve learned about myself,” she confides, “is that when I get really stuck and can’t seem to get writing, it’s because I’ve forgotten to take time out to play.”

As an artist
“Picture books are performances,” says Phyllis, quoting some sage advice she once received. “They’re performances that involve a child – something both of you do. And once I started thinking of them that way, I started getting much looser about making up words and playing around with rhythm.” The author does “endless rewriting” before a book is finished, but often starts out by writing her stories in her head, a trick she learned as a time-pressed mother when her two daughters were very young. For example, Rattletrap Car – a joyful celebration of perseverance – began with her playing around with sounds (“clinkety clankety, bing bang pop!”) and calling up bits of old camp songs. A master of rhythmic read-alouds, Phyllis exhibits a range many writers would envy. Her counting book Ten Sleepy Sheep is as serene and lulling as One Duck Stuck is rambunctious. “Counting sheep isn’t always easy,” she notes. “Once, while we were farm-sitting, my daughter and I had to chase down two runaway lambs in the growing darkness, then count twenty-seven frisky lambs to make sure they were all safe for the night. Luckily, they were.”

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
40 pages

Author

Phyllis Root
More books by Phyllis Root

Author's Website

www.childrensliteraturenetw...

Publisher

University of Minnesota Press

Publication date

21st May 2014

ISBN

9780816679805


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