I'm willing to bet Burns originally pitched this as a 4-book series, like Serafini's 4-book Looking Closely series. Each chapter has several parts, each with a different approach to text--the imaginative, the didactic, the 'be the scientist', and an equipment checklist and picture-matching quiz. There's a lot of text, compared to the DK approach to info text, but Burns' writing is very good and I the balance of texts and visuals was fine for me. My 8-year-old daughter read several parts I asked her to look at and she was into it.
The first part of each chapter is written in a very nice read-aloud voice, and focuses on imagining doing the fieldwork. The didactic part presents the scientists' existing work and projects, and how and why data collection is going forward. Then it moved me into the role of scientist, showing me how I could do this kind of project.
The book accomplished just what it intended. I want to participate in two of the four projects (ladybug, and monarch). This book for me was a great example of having an aesthetic experience with persuasive writing.