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What Do Roots Do?


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K-Gr 3-Unseen and unheralded, roots lead a secret life under the soil, anchoring and nourishing the leafy, spiny, flowery, fruiting bodies that soothe our eyes and shade our backyards. "Palm, pine or maple,/it always is true-/half of the tree/will be hidden from you." Kudlinski's brief rhyming text describes them, from the tiniest root hairs to the strongest taproots, sucking up the water that makes its way up the trunk, out through branches and twigs, and into the leaves and beyond. Or, in the case of some vegetables, the roots themselves become edible, such as carrots and beets. Unfortunately, the mineral nutrients carried in that water are not mentioned, nor is photosynthesis, and potatoes are tubers (which are not exactly roots). The simple text is accompanied by abundantly green oil-and-acrylic spreads that keep perfect step. While Franklyn M. Branley's golden oldie Roots Are Food Finders (HarperCollins, 1975) is far more informative, this is an appealing purchase.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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