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Gr. 4-7. Montgomery and Bishop, who worked together on Snake Scientist (1999), team up once again to deliver another fascinating slice of the natural world. This time they venture to the French Guiana rain forest, where they follow arachnologist Sam Marshall on his quest for his favourite quarry: tarantulas. Enthusiasm for the subject and respect for both Marshall and his eight-legged subjects come through on every page of the clear, informative, and even occasionally humorous text. Bishop's full-colour photos, which concentrate on detail, not scale, are amazing--Marshall coaxing an elusive tarantula into the open or bringing readers literally face-to-face with a hairy spider. The section on students' research seems tacked on, but it adds an interesting sidelight to the book, which is longer and richer in both text and illustrations than others in the Scientists in the Field series. Readers will come away armed with facts about spiders in general and tarantulas in particular, but even more important, they'll have a clear understanding of how the answers derived from research become the roots of new, intriguing questions. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright ÃÂ© American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Bishop's photographs rise magnificently to the challenge of capturing earth-toned spiders amid earth-toned jungle surroundings, bringing the critters up-close and personal and offering a few of his trademark astonishing stop-action shots... This would liven up a science curriculum no end, and it might also convince young readers to go beyond the elemental pleasures of 'Ew, gross' to the more sophisticated appreciation of 'Wow, cool.'" ..."this is a vivid look at an enthusiastic scientist energetically and happily at work, both in the field and in the lab, questioning, examining, testing, and making connections. A treat, even for arachnophobes." .,."this is a vivid look at an enthusiastic scientist energetically and happily at work, both in the field and in the lab, questioning, examining, testing, and making connections. A treat, even for arachnophobes."