By The Horn Book
Hale (Water Land, rev. 7/18) introduces readers to biomimicry through fifteen examples found in everyday life as well as state-of-the-art design and engineering. Each left-hand page features a tanka poem paired with a relief print illustration of a plant or animal; on the right, a captioned photograph of a human-made creation showcases the biomimicry involved. So “lotus leaf spreads wide / waxy surface repels rain” faces a photo of a child with an umbrella; and “shy armadillo / overlapping scales rolled tight / a snug little ball / folds up so efficiently” precedes a picture of a fold-up, space-saving car. Hale’s accessible tanka poems pack a lot into five lines. The softness of her detailed relief prints effectively contrasts with the photographs highlighting human invention. Extensive back matter includes additional information for each example, a detailed explanation of the tanka format, and numerous source notes.