December 15, 2014
The Prairie that Nature Built by Marybeth Lorbiecki, illustrated by Cathy Morrison
The Prairie that Nature Built
by Marybeth Lorbiecki
illustrated by Cathy Morrison
These are the critters
that worm and squirm
Alive in the dirt so dark and thick
Under the prairie that nature built.
So begins this fast moving, rhyming text that is patterned after The House that Jack Built. Lorbiecki covers everything from the worms and insects underground to the birds of tha air, grazing animals and even the part played by grass fires.
Unlike many books set on this rhyme scheme, The Prairie that Nature Built maintains its quick pace throughout and never drags. In part, this is because each spread includes the patterned rhyme that ends with the critters and dirt and “prairie that nature built,” but then goes on for a brief explanation of the new information introduced in the spread. This information is also delivered in the same rhyming pattern but breaks up the repetition to keep the story moving.
Several pages in the back of the book give the adult reader more information on the prairie and the various animals presented to readers.
Cathy Morrison’s paintings are detailed without being clinical and bring the setting and animals to live. The movement and colors show her enthusiasm for the topic.
This book clearly shows how the various animals living within this ecosystem are interconnected and would make an excellent introduction to the topic. The fun rhyme would also make it an excellent choice for reading aloud although it is probably better suited to classroom use or story time than it is to quiet reading and bed time.