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Julia Rothman grew up on City Island in the Bronx in NYC. Loved nature. Became a teenager. Forgot nature. Became an adult. Remembered nature. That’s the beginning of her introduction in a nutshell. Running around Prospect Park grew her curiosity in the world around her. This book is, in a way, HER nature book. It is not an all-encompassing book on all things nature. It merely covers a lot of bits of nature that you and your kids will find interesting.
There are seven chapters on:
- the earth and its layers, minerals, landforms, mountains…
- Atmosphere, weather, clouds, storms, rainbows, sunsets, moon phases…
- Flowers, bees, butterflies and their metamorphoses, grass, insects, spiders…
- Trees, leaves, bark, fruit, ferns, moss, mushrooms, rotting logs…
- Bats, squirrels, grizzly bears vs. black bears, wild cats and dogs, snakes, lizards…
- Birds, birds, birds, bird calls, bird eggs, beaks, owls, big birds…
- Pond ecosystems, fish, frogs, toads, salmon, the anatomy of jellyfish, and much more.
That is a basic-but-incomplete table of contents. There are pictures on every page of the corresponding content, such as the earth’s landforms, constellations, types of flowers, dendrochronology (that is, counting tree rings), ground squirrels, flying squirrels, gila monsters, bighorn sheep, porcupines, and northern elephant seals.
There is not much information given to each animal, but there are enough animals that kids will be enthralled. Now, the illustrations aren’t as detailed nor as sharp as Marni Fylling’s illustrations in Fiona Cohen’s Curious Kids Nature Guide, but they’re still really nice and detailed, and kids will love them.
There is a good bit of cursive in the book. It doesn’t seem to follow a pattern though. Some object or animal names are written in cursive, others in print. Then, some explanations or notes will be in cursive, others in print. Some of the scientific names for plants and animals are written in cursive, and again, others are not. Kids who have not yet learned cursive will have trouble reading the cursive parts of the book. If so, you could employ an older sibling to help them with reading it. Then they’ll get to enjoy the book together.
This is a thick fun book that I think kids will enjoy reading through over and over. Micah’s still too young, but my wife and I think this is great, and we can’t wait to read through it with him. We’d like to get the other books in the series too, mentioned below. If you’re looking for other nature books, you could combine this with Fiona Cohen’s Curious Kids Nature Guide: Exploring the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. You could also buy the rest of the collection: Farm Anatomy and Food Anatomy. Unlike Cohen’s book, this book covers animals from a broader range of area.
- Series: Julia Rothman
- Author/Illustrator: Julia Rothman
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Storey Publishing (January 27, 2015)
Buy it on Amazon or from Storey Publishing!
Disclosure: I received this book free from Storey Publishing. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.