Rainforest (Anglais) Relié – 4 avril 2013
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I recommend this book to all nature lovers and photography aficionados. I recommend it even more to those who don't care about the rainforest and its preservation - if these images cannot convince you about the value and uniqueness of this habitat, nothing will.
This morning, my son brought it to school where he shared it with the other kids prior to first bell. There were 15 nine and ten year olds jockeying for the best view with "cool" and "awesome" said only the way a child can. They completely missed the sound of the bell and their teacher came out to see what the delay was. She too fell in love and the book stayed at school to be shared with all the [....] classes over the next few days.
This book deserves more than 5 stars.
This breathtaking book takes the reader on an awe-inspiring five continent tour of rain forest tree and plants, reptiles, birds, amphibians, insect, and mammals.
The book itself can be divided into three components:
(1) Photographs (with informative captions)
The photographs are spectacular and jaw dropping! For over sixteen years, nature photographer Thomas Marent has traveled around the world to achieve the difficult task of recording the diverse, complex, unexplored, and endangered ecosystems of rain forests. In other words, these spectacular color photos capture close-up images of some of the most rarely visited places on Earth.
The photographs are divided into five sections: (1) panorama (2) diversity (3) survival (has three sub-divisions entitled predator, arms and armor, deception) (4) cycles (has three sub-divisions entitled flowers to fruit, lifelines, recyclers) and (5) society.
The number of captioned photos for each section is as follows (these totals are rounded off):
Panorama: 40; Diversity: 20; Survival 170; Cycles: 105; Society: 45. There are also about 10 captioned photos that appear before the table of contents. (TOTAL captioned photos in entire book: 400.)
There is a well-written text that accompanies many photographs giving the reader facts and figures about the rain forests and their diverse plant, insect, and insect inhabitants. (The last chapter of this book entitled "Rainforests of the world" is especially well done.) As well, there are fascinating brief stories and descriptions (in quotation marks) that were said by photographer Marent that accompany some of the photos.
You might be tempted to just look at the photographs with their captions and skip the text. However, you would be cheating yourself. I feel that the comprehensive text should be read to fill in the gaps about rain forests that the photographs do not and cannot provide.
The third component of this mesmerizing book is the 80 minute, 23 track audio CD entitled "Sounds of the Rainforest" inserted into an envelope attached to the inside back cover. Recorded on it are sounds that are unique to the rain forests around the world. On the insertion envelope itself, we're told what the main sound is on eleven of these tracks. More than a quarter of this CD is devoted to the sounds of the Amazon Rain Forest (the world's largest rain forest). (Note that many of the titles on the CD itself (but not on its insertion envelope) are in a foreign language. My favorite tracks are 14 to 16, 20 to 23.)
This CD definitely does "enhance the unique experience of this book."
I should tell the potential buyer of this book that "2% of the royalties from this book are paid to The Rainforest Foundation," a foundation devoted to the long-term protection of rain forests. The singer Sting is a founding patron of this foundation.
Finally, I had some problems with this book. Note that these in no way affect the book's readability but are more "irritations:"
(1) Who wrote the text for this book? From the book's front cover (displayed above by Amazon) it's Thomas Marent. Right? Wrong!! He's responsible for the photographs (and some of his verbal statements are included with the text). On the title page (located on page 2) of this book we have "Thomas Marent with Ben Morgan." If you go to the copyright page there is in small print "Text copyright 2006 Dorling Kindersley [abbreviated DK] Limited." We're also told all images are copyright to Marent.
Thus Ben Morgan, a writer for DK (I think??), is the author of this book. Why is his name not also displayed on the book's cover?
(2) Where did Morgan get all the facts and figures for his text? There is no reference section that tells us.
(3) I almost missed the fact that there's a CD with this book! I just happened to read the back cover and there is a little blurb that tells the reader that there's a CD (but not where it's located). We're only told what the main sounds are on 11 of its 23 tracks. Why? And why are we not told that there's a CD at the front of the book?
In conclusion, this is a unique and stunningly beautiful book about rain forests around the world. I leave you with a list of facts found in a "fact box" entitled "Wealth of the Rainforests" that itself is found in the last chapter of this remarkable book:
(i) One-fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Amazon River basin.
(ii) Almost all the medicine we use every day come from plants endemic to the rainforest.
(iii) A single pond in Brazil [that holds over half of the Amazon Rain Forest and holds about one-third of the world's remaining tropical rain forests] can sustain a greater variety of fish than is found in all of Europe's rivers.
(iv) If present rates of destruction [of rain forests] continue, there will be no rainforests remaining by 2060.
(copyright 2006; forward; a photographer's passion; 6 chapters; main narrative 360 pages; photographing the rainforest; index; acknowledgements; "sounds of the rainforest" CD)
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