When Plants Attack: Strange and Terrifying Plants
When Plants Attack: Strange and Terrifying Plants
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Annotation: Presents fun and gross facts about a variety of plants along with explaining the science behind why they do what they do.
Genre: Biology
Catalog Number: #176685
Format: Library Binding
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 48 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-541-52670-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-541-52670-9
Dewey: 581.6
LCCN: 2018022633
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Large, eye-catching color photos will immediately attract readers to this slim but information-packed book of fascinating stories about the ways in which deadly plants defend themselves or even go on the offensive. Plants as varied as Australia's stinging tree, supposedly the "most painful plant in the world"; North America's Venus flytrap; and Asia's common kudzu are mentioned. Eastern African elephants that attempt to eat whistling thorn acacia trees will be painfully stung by the tree's resident biting ants, while, in Borneo, the insects and small mammals attracted by the nectar in the king pitcher plant's toilet-shaped bowl often fall in and are devoured. Plenty of plants use subterfuge: dead horse arum lily cleverly tricks flies into pollinating it by mimicking an animal corpse, while sticky, hooked seeds from bird-catcher trees attach to birds, preventing flight, often killing them. Brief facts about each plant appear in sidebars, and back matter includes author's and source notes, additional resources, and an index. Curious readers will be eager to learn more about these creepy plants.
Kirkus Reviews
This survey of wild, unusual, and terrifying flora munches across eight chapters but may leave some readers asking for seconds.Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors and Morticia Addams' pet Cleopatra inspire new generations of curious youngsters to seek out information on the plant kingdom's bizarre and peculiar subjects. Hirsch proceeds admirably with her topic, combining the well-known (Venus fly trap, kudzu) with the lesser-known (the stinging tree, which can kill; the pisonia tree, the seeds of which can strangle birds). Along the way, folklore is interwoven with facts, suggesting ideas of how these plants' legendary abilities may have been promulgated. The chapters are presented in a series of easily digested segments, each introducing a new plant and a new way to terrify readers. Large color photographs are supplemented by a scattering of diagrams illustrating more-complex descriptions. Readers who make it through to the backmatter will encounter an author's note, a weedy garden of source notes, a glossary, and other useful pieces of information. The source notes are not referenced in the text, making this useful tool one that might be overlooked. The only word for which pronunciation is given is "kudzu," though arguably some of the earlier terms merit such treatment as well. The eye-catching cover (and immediate shelf appeal) makes up for these few missteps, but librarians and educators should expect follow-up questions from voracious readers.Perfectly adequate as a starter course. (Nonfiction. 9-12)
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ALA Booklist (3/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 46-47) and index.
Word Count: 7,524
Reading Level: 5.5
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.5 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 501422 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.4 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q76694
Lexile: 840L

Science writer and plant expert Rebecca E. Hirsch presents fun and gross facts about a variety of plants along with explaining the science behind why they do what they do. Featured plants include the Venus Flytrap, an African tree that houses stinking ants to protect itself from hungry animals, a "vampire vine" that sucks nutrients from other plants, and fiendishly invasive kudzu.

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