By Janet Halfmann
Scholastic/Watts Library, 2003
ISBN: 978-1439524558 (Library Binding)
ISBN: 978-0531163719 (Paperback)
Ages 9-12, Grades 5-7, nonfiction
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It's fun to play tricks on your friends. But for plants, tricky ways are necessary to survive. Here are some plant tricksters:
- Orchids that look like female bees to attract male bees to spread the flowers’ pollen.
- Desert plants that look like stones so animals won’t steal their water.
- Dead horse arums that smell like rotten meat to attract blowfly pollinators.
- Skyrocket flowers that change color with the seasons to attract different pollinators.
- Daisies that make an armyworm sick as it spends time in the sun.
- Corn plants that use odor signals to call wasps to rescue them from caterpillars.
- Squirting cucumbers that shoot their seeds like a rocket.
The Story Behind the Book
I have been interested in plants since childhood, growing up on a farm in mid-Michigan. Back then, I squatted in the farm field with my dad to check how much the corn or wheat had grown. Now I spend much of my time in my garden or checking out the plants along the creek near my home.
- "Large, brightly colored close-up photos ranging from beautiful to bizarre are nicely placed to support the well-written narratives." —School Library Journal
- "beautifully written and informative." —Science Books and Films
Interviews with Janet
- Lori Calabrese Writes blog—Author Interview: Janet Halfmann (Nov. 11, 2008)
- Patricia M. Newman—Meet Other Children’s Authors (Jan. 2008)
- Book Bites for Kids blog radio (Dec. 14, 2007)
- Milwaukee Public Radio’s Lake Effect—Little Skink’s Tail (Oct. 11, 2007)