A World of Environments

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Karen McGhee (text) and James Gulliver Hancock (illustrator), A World of Environments, Australian Geographic, 64 pp., March 2019, RRP $29.95 (hbk), ISBN 9781925694925

This book is an introduction to the many environments of our planet, and some of the flora and fauna that inhabits them. Cities, rainforests, woodlands, alpine tundra, caves, deserts, grasslands, wetlands, coasts, the Poles and the deep sea are represented by two pages of general information followed by a double-paged illustration of the environment with more pages of text after. The illustrations show a collection of creatures inhabiting the area, both above and below the land. Each is labelled with their common name. The previous pages have more information about some species represented alongside the more general text.

Care has been taken to show many parts of the world as environmental examples: for cities – New York City; rainforests – the Amazon; woodlands – the Forest of Dean in England; alpine tundra – the Himalayas; caves – the Soon Doong Cave in Vietnam; deserts – the Sahara; grasslands – the Kazakh Steppe in Kazakhstan; wetlands – The Everglades; coasts – the Great Barrier Reef; the Poles – Baffin Island in Canada; and the deep sea – the Mariana Trench.

Interestingly, although there is discussion about how people and their settlements can affect environments, there is nothing specifically about climate change or species declines. That aside, this book is a good overview of the many distinct areas of the planet that ultimately link together.

Reviewed by Pam Harvey

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