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Who Needs a Reef?    by Karen Patkau order for
Who Needs a Reef?
by Karen Patkau
Order:  USA  Can
Tundra, 2014 (2014)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Karen Patkau's Who Needs a Reef?: A Coral Ecosystem is one of an Ecosystem series, aimed at grades 2 to 5, that also includes Who Needs a Desert?: A Desert Ecosystem and Who Needs a Prairie?: A Grassland Ecosystem, also by the same author.

The illustrations are as enticing and colorful as coral reefs I've dived through around the world. Patkau first introduces young readers to the ecosystem with her Welcome to the Reef ... 'How beautiful and strange the reef is, bustling and teeming with life.'

She explains How a Coral Reef Forms, showing the insides of a coral polyp, and explores in the following pages the diversity of what's to be found Living on the Reef. After this comes an explanation of The Food Chain, with plankton at the bottom and how Life is a Cycle on the reef.

Finally the author explains how The Reef Protects the Shoreline, letting Beaches and Harbors Develop, and how The Reef is Productive (in its harvest of food, in medicine and in tourism). The conclusion? 'Who needs a reef? We all do.'

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