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Poisonous Plants: A Guide for Parents and Childcare Providers Review by Stacy Rocha

By Elizabeth A. Dauncey
The University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60 th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Poisonous Plants: A Guide for Parents and Childcare Providers is a beautiful, sturdy, and informative guidebook. This 180-page book profiles 132 plants that are the most likely to cause harm and be encountered in the home, garden, or countryside. With over 230 photographs, it will enable you to identify any plant in question.

The introduction to the book is very informative. It includes information on how the book is laid out, how the plant profiles are set up, how plants cause harm, first aid and emergency advice, and how to plant a safe garden that children will love. There are also a few pages devoted to some of the most common fruiting plants that are commonly eaten by children. These pages include photos of each of the plants. The book is divided in to two sections, outdoor plants, and indoor plants. Each plant profile contains the botanical name plus any common names, the family it belongs to, a description of what the plant looks like and where it is most likely to be found, the main toxin, what the risk is if it is ingested or if it comes in contact with the body, what the possible symptoms of poisoning are, and the HTA Category, which is a code indicating the potential to cause harm. There are also symbols in the margins indicating what the attractive parts of the plant are, the plant type, and where it is found. Each profile has more than one photo of the plant. Since there can be many varieties, this can aid in identification. There is also a ruler on the back flyleaf.

I found this book to be very user friendly. The photos of the plants are crisp and clear, making it easy to identify the plant in question. I especially appreciated the multiple photos for each plant. The pages of the book are thick and glossy, so you don't have to worry about it getting ruined out in the field.

Product review by Stacy Rocha, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2011