_Plant_ by Janet Marinelli - DK

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Sun, 13 Apr 2008 12:34:42 PDT
Dear Friends,
	I have an alternate view of this book. I reviewed a number of 
Animal Encyclopedias for a national science organization last year 
and was asked to  suggest and compare similar comprehensive plant 
encyclopedias. As part of the first group I wholeheartedly endorsed 
'Animal' produced by DK. It gave a comprehensive intelligent 
introduction to the animal world from simplest to complex organism; 
well organized and explained.

	I could only find 'Plant' as a comparable volume, but seeing 
that it was also a DK product my hopes were high.

	Here's my abbreviated review from last August:

	"This book is subtitled 'The ultimate visual reference to 
plants and flowers of the world'. If only.
	The book is beautifully constructed with ample color 
photographs, maps, charts and drawings. The actual focus of the book 
is on rare, endangered and invasive plants. You will find little or 
no information about basic common plants. The book has an excellent 
if biased introduction taking up nearly a quarter of the book on the 
world of plants and global habitats. Considering it is a 'product' of 
the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, I would have hoped for a more even 
representation of the view of the entire plant world and a less harsh 
tone regarding dangers of plant extinction, invasive plants and 
related fear topics.
	About two thirds of the book is an actual plant 
encyclopedia,but again the emphasis is on the rare, and not evenly 
representational. These chapters are oddly arranged from plant types 
(trees, bulbs, etc.) to taxonomic groups (grasses, ferns, orchids, 
etc) or environment (alpine plants) that just adds to the confusion. 
The index is essential to find info on any specific plant and do not 
expect an even representation.
	One should not judge a person or a book by its companions, 
but this book is clearly a companion to the DK publication "Animal' 
which fills its goals quite admirably. Considering the size and depth 
of the present book,  it never reaches and barely aspires to 
comparison. As a pretty coffee table book  it is fine, but I feel it 
fails to fit its audience.
	Pretty and annoying sum up the effort, leaving the need for a 
good reference on the plant world topic."

	On the other hand if the reader is seeking a highly visual 
and slightly shallow review of rare and endangered plants, there is 
lots of interest. And I'd even recommend it for $10.  Some very rare 
plants are represented.  Do not expect basic information about the 
plant world, basic botany or systematics.  Still for $10 ....why not.

			Buyer Beware ? Buyer Enjoy	!		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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