- Maps, charts, and graphs created expressly for Watts Libraryô
- Sidebars highlighting fast facts, quick biographies, and other extracted information
- Timeline (in all social studies titles)
- "To Find Out More" (books, organizations, websites, films/videos, audio)
- "A Note on Sources" (a note from the author describing his or her research materials and processes)
7/1/05 School Library Journal
These books introduce readers to the climate characteristics as well as plants and animals of each biome. They are written in an accessible and interesting, conversational style. The authors convey a good deal of information about topics such as adaptation, environmental threats, seasonal changes, and other essentials important to report writers and general readers. Tocci's organizational task was somewhat easier because the artic tundra region is limited in area and diversity, and the text focuses on the Rocky Mountains for most examples related to the alpine tundra. Because grasslands occur in many geographic and contain a wide variety of plant and animal species, Toupin's titles contain shorter discussion of each one and have a choppier feel. All of the books are well designed with good placement of photographs and highlighted sidebars. Extensive glossaries plus lists of further reading are appended. The "Organizations and Online Sites" vary in quality and usefulness and include a few commercial sites. These titles offer more in-depth coverage than that found in the "Living Habitats" volumes (Heinemann) or "First Reports" (Compass Point) are less detailed that the "Biomes Atlases" (Raintree). They are solid choices for middle-grade students seeking report materials on these topics.