cover image Galápagos: Islands of Change

Galápagos: Islands of Change

Leslie Bulion, illus. by Becca Stadtlander. Peachtree, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-68263-496-7

Haiku, tanka, soledad, as well as free verse and myriad rhyming forms offer an evocative deep dive into the unique biodiversity of the Galapagos ecosystem in this conservation-minded tribute. Many pieces honor individual species—from phytoplankton, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies to lava lizards, giant tortoises, and ghost crabs—while others on climate and seasonal change signal the passage of time (“cool ocean/ dry season... warm ocean/ wet season”). Stadtlander’s thickly colored gouache and pastel art portrays active subjects immersed in their environment, while accompanying captions further educate. Darwin’s finches get their due with free rhyme (“slight shape changes—/ finch beak variations—/ can open new food options./ That’s adaptation!”) and a full spread of six labeled finches in profile (“Fourteen new finches evolved across islands from the accidental arrival of a single species,” text adds). Bulion’s poetic tour of the islands’ specialness simultaneously underscores the importance of preservation and highlights the richness that is Earth’s ecology. A glossary, map, and poetry notes conclude. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)