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The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets in the Rainforest

By: Heather Lang

Illustrator: Jana Christy

Meg Lowman was determined to investigate the marvelous, undiscovered world of the rainforest treetops. Meg’s perseverance and creativity allowed her to achieve this goal, but when this fantastic ecosystem started to disappear, Meg needed to act quickly.

Meg Lowman was always fascinated by the natural world above her head. The colors, the branches, and, most of all, the leaves and mysterious organisms living there. As a scientist, Meg set out to climb up and investigate the rain forest tree canopies—and to be the first scientist to do so. But she encountered challenge after challenge. Male teachers would not let her into their classrooms, the high canopy was difficult to get to, and worst of all, people were logging and clearing the forests. Meg never gave up or gave in. She studied, invented, and persevered, not only creating a future for herself as a scientist, but making sure that the rainforests had a future as well. Working closely with Meg Lowman, author Heather Lang and artist Jana Christy beautifully capture Meg’s world in the treetops.

Author’s note, with photographs. Rainforest diagram: “A Look at Layers, Leaves, and Life in the Amazon.” Bibliography and resources. Source notes. Full-color digital illustrations.

ISBN: 9781684371778

JLG Release: Apr 2021


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Margaret Lowman (1953– ) , Science , US women scientists , Biology , Botany , Australian rainforests , Rainforest canopies , Canopy walkways , Deforestation , Conservation  

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3–This title spotlights a pioneering female scientist. Margaret Lowman (b. 1953), a white American biologist, turned a childhood fascination with leaves into a career of rain forest exploration, education, and conservation. She invented new ways to study trees and their leaves: by exploring their canopies. The narrative introduces her as PreS-Gr 3–This title spotlights a pioneering female scientist. Margaret Lowman (b. 1953), a white American biologist, turned a childhood fascination with leaves into a career of rain forest exploration, education, and conservation. She invented new ways to study trees and their leaves: by exploring their canopies. The narrative introduces her as Meg, a shy child with a passion for the natural world. In college, Lowman faced sexism, but she persevered. She graduated from Sydney University with her PhD in Botany, and then explored the rain forests. Climbing ropes were succeeded by the first canopy walkway, and later, a raft placed on the treetops in Cameroon, Africa. Lang’s poetic text showcases engaging language, alliteration, and appropriate metaphors. Nearly every spread features a direct quotation, which is highlighted in a different color typeface. Relevant information about rain forests appears in leaf-shaped text boxes. Lang describes her personal encounter with “Canopy Meg” when Lowman served as a guide for a 2017 citizen-science trip to a rain forest in Peru. A final spread depicts the levels of a Peruvian rain forest and the various creatures that inhabit the environment. Christy’s digital illustrations nicely support the text. The solid back matter includes source notes. VERDICT This quiet celebration would be a pleasure to read aloud to a small group.–Kathleen Isaacs, Children’s Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD

Book Details

ISBN

9781684371778

First Release

April 2021

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

B

Trim Size

11" x 8 1/2"

Page Count

48

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Calkins Creek

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Margaret Lowman (1953– ), Science, US women scientists, Biology, Botany, Australian rainforests, Rainforest canopies, Canopy walkways, Deforestation, Conservation, 

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