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Early Nonfiction

From Super Shadows, published by Magic Wagon, 2009. Excerpted with permission. Available through Magic Wagon, a division of the ABDO Group (www.abdopublishing.com) or your educational publisher.

Art-illustrated picture book for grades 1­–3

[pages 18-19]

Your Shadow

Sometimes your shadow is in front of you. Sometimes it’s behind you. Why?

It depends on where the light is. If light is behind you, your shadow is in front of you. Where’s the light when your shadow is behind you?

Sidebar: Have you ever had two shadows at once? This happens when two lights, such as the moon and the streetlight, shine on you from different directions.

[pages 20–21]

Sometimes your shadow is long and thin.

In the morning and the evening, the sun is low in the sky. Your shadow stretches along the street.

[pages 22–23]

Sometimes your shadow is short and stubby.

Around noon, the sun shines high above. Your shadow stays by your feet.

From Welcome to Glacier National Park, published by The Child’s World, 2007. Excerpted with permission. Available through The Child’s World (www.childsworld.com) or your educational wholesaler.

Photo-illustrated picture book for grades 1–4

A Sculpted Land              

Welcome to Glacier National Park! Here in western Montana, the snow-capped Rocky Mountains frame the sky. Waterfalls crash over cliffs. Wildflowers carpet a meadow. This is a park known for its spectacular scenery.

This area is also known for its wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might see grazing bighorn sheep. You could see a grizzly bear digging for food. Listen closely and you’ll hear the call of bald eagles and other birds.

Because of its name—Glacier—you might think much of the park is covered with thick rivers of ice. That is not the case. The park does have some glaciers, but the name refers to long-gone glaciers that carved the land during the past 1.5 million years. These ancient glaciers created the dramatic landscape you see today. . . .

Mountain Meadows

Going-to-the-Sun Road gets steeper as you make your way up to Logan Pass. Take the Hidden Lake Trail. Up here, the mountains feel close enough to touch.

One mountain is shaped like a long, thin ridge. This is the Garden Wall. Glaciers scraped away at the mountain from either side. The mountain was worn so thin that sunlight shines through a hole in the top.

You’ll notice that it’s quite a bit cooler than it was at the bottom of the mountains. The cooler temperature makes a big difference in the landscape.

Forests cover about two-thirds of Glacier National Park, but not here. During most of the year, it’s too windy and cold for trees to grow. The few, scattered trees are small. The growing season is so short that it could take 50 years for a tree to grow as tall as you.

Instead of trees, low-lying plants hug the ground. In summer, the plants flower all at once. For a few short weeks each year, the meadow explodes with color.

Like the trees, the wildflowers grow just a little each year. If a plant gets trampled, it could take dozens of years to grow back. That’s why it’s especially important to stay on the trail.

Even in July, fields of snow may cover parts of the trail. Poles in the snow will help you follow the path.

As you continue up the trail, keep an eye out for mountain goats. Their coats look shaggy because they are shedding their fur for summer.

Ptarmigans (pronounced “TAR-mi-gans”) may still have some white feathers. These birds change color with the seasons. In winter, they’re white to blend in with the snow. That makes it harder for hungry predators to see the birds. In summer, they turn brown to blend in with the rocks.

Also, look for scurrying marmots. These small furry animals spend the short summer eating as much as they can. Soon they will be so fat, their bellies will drag on the ground. In September they will hibernate. Their heartbeats will slow and their body temperatures will drop. They will stay in this deep, sleep-like state for the entire winter.

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