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It’s hard to imagine that the tropical paradise of Hawai’i and the icy plains of Greenland have anything in common, but in fact, both are islands. In this issue, kids will explore islands in all their shapes, sizes, and forms: from the most densely populated isle (Manhattan) to the most remote outcropping (Tristan da Cunha). Along the way, they’ll learn how islands are born when Earth’s tectonic plates collide or a volcano erupts, and find out what they’re made of, whether hardened lava or coral reefs. Then they can take a romp with the fascinating animals that live only on islands, like the ring-tailed lemur, and find out how the giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands led Darwin to his theory of evolution.
Next, take a quick cruise through Earth’s unique island cultures, including the Dayak of Borneo and the Gullah of the Sea Islands. For kids, nothing beats tales of adventure and discovery on the high seas; they’ll enjoy reading about the voyages of the Bounty and the Kon-Tiki, and be intrigued by the legend of Atlantis. And then it’s time for an island-hopping tour of Venice, Indonesia, and Tierra Del Fuego – the southernmost inhabited area in the world. Finally, take a look at the environmental and ecological threats faced by islands. For kids interested in preservation, this section is sure to ignite a passion for protecting them.