Monday, September 10, 2012

Nonfiction Monday: The Brook Book, exploring the smallest streams by Jim Arnosky

I'm rummaging through our nonfiction section with a rather vague idea of weeding at some point (this is a complicated procedure, involving not only the simple removal and replacement of outdated materials but also complex statistical and political maneuverings) and thought I'd bring out some old favorites to look at again.

Jim Arnosky, the master of nature books for children, has some lovely guides to outdoor experiences. In our geographical area, brooks are fairly common, as are lakes, wetlands, etc. so this one is most useful. The book moves chronologically, starting with an explanation of the formation of brooks, then moving on to equipment and safety.

The brook explorers are ready to get started and Arnosky walks you through the brook and its environment. He covers the stones, insects and larvae, wildflowers, collecting small creatures, fish, birds, and animal tracks. A final author's note gives additional suggestions to teachers and parents and further information is included in a bibliography.

Arnosky's lush oil paintings are softened into pastel greens and yellows in this user-friendly title. There are drawings of the various creatures, illustrations of equipment, and cheery cartoons of brook explorers discovering the wonders of the outdoors.

Verdict: Recommended for any school or library in the vicinity of a brook - and if you don't have one, this book will encourage you to find out about creating your own miniature wetland or brook to investigate! This title has held up well since 2008 and won't become outdated any time soon.

ISBN: 9780525477167; Published 2008 by Dutton; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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