In the middle of the Australian continent, a huge sandstone rock rises more than a thousand feet from the flat desert floor. Formerly known as Ayers Rock, this imposing landmark is now called Uluru, the name given to it by the Anangu, the Aboriginal people who live on the land around it. A site of ongoing geological processes and exceptional beauty, it is unlike any other place in the world. In her signature concise and accessible style, award-winning author Caroline Arnold discusses Uluru’s role as a sacred site for the Anangu and how the plants and animals that are part of its natural environment are an integral part of their traditional way of life. She describes the geologic processes that formed the rock’s distinctive shape and red color, the land and climate of the central Australian desert, and how wildlife has adapted to the extreme conditions. Arthur Arnold’s dramatic full-color photographs highlight the unique features and rich colors of the landscape. The area is protected as a United Nations World Heritage Site. In recognition of the rock’s significance to the Aboriginal culture, the Australian government has created the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which is visited each year by thousands of people from all over the world. Glossary, pronunciation guide, index.
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Caroline Arnold always loved books, but as a child she never thought of writing as a career. Born in Pittsburgh, she grew up in Minneapolis and studied art at Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. "It was only after my children were born that I became acquainted with children's books and it occurred to me that I could use my training to become a children's book illustrator. I soon realized that I needed a text to go with the pictures, and the more I wrote, the more I realized that I liked writing as much as or more than drawing. I've always been fascinated by the natural world and love to go to the parks and museums. Perhaps that is why so many of my books are about scientific topics." Arnold is now the award-winning author of more than 100 books for children. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, a neuroscientist, and teaches writing at UCLA Extension. For more information visit www.carolinearnoldbooks.com.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8-This colorful guide provides a glimpse of Aboriginal heritage as well as physical descriptions of the central desert region of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) in Australia's Northern Territory. These sites, which are now part of a national park, are sacred to the Anangu, and Arnold provides a brief overview of the history and beliefs of "Australia's First People." The concept of Tjukurpa, a view of the world and its creation as well as the laws that govern daily life, is explained, and the author points out physical features of the rock formations that are related to events that occurred during the creation time. Other chapters discuss the formation's geological history, the plants and animals that live there and in the surrounding region, and the desert climate. The text offers good examples of the relationship between the Aboriginal people and the land, and their use of its resources. The writing is lucid and logical. All of the full-color photographs are appropriately labeled, but some are slightly out of focus. The index is useful, but it omits some important words, e.g., mulga and wallaby. An adequate resource for libraries with a need for information about this region and its inhabitants.
Paul J. Bisnette, Silas Bronson Library, Waterbury, CT
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