This book is the fourth in a series that tells the story of living things in different surroundings, or habitats. The first volume, Weejack and His Neighbors, is devoted to creatures that make their homes on prairies in the central part of North America. Then come Wild Folk at the Pond and Wild Folk in the Woods. Life of seashores and southwestern deserts will be treated in books to come.
This volume, as its title shows, tells about wildlife in the mountains. But mountains of eastern America are not very high, and the birds, beasts and plants found among them are much like those of nearby woods and of prairies. So our mountains are mostly those of the west, where grizzlies live as well as black bears, where bighorns and mountain goats roam, and where noisy birds called nutcrackers fly directly from high ridges to deep valleys. These mountains also are visited by millions of people every summer. But wild things that stay all year must fit themselves to the snow and cold winds that come with the winter season.
Several trees of western mountains are described in a book called Trees and Their World. But a few trees are such perfect mountain dwellers that their stories are also told here. So are the adventures of hardy flowering plants and the lichens that grow on windswept cliffs where no flower or tree could survive.
The book itself combines narratives with simple descriptions and explanations. The stories present adventures in living; descriptions and explanations give a wealth of additional information. Together, they introduce young readers to nine kinds of birds, twenty-five beasts, five mountain trees and seven smaller plants. These, and the mountains themselves, are presented in forty-five illustrations of the sort that have made Dr. Fenton's nature books famous.
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