Monday, March 7, 2016

Nonfiction Monday: Fire Birds: Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests by Sneed B. Collard III

I've enjoyed many of Collard's other science books, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading this one. Sadly, things like work and eating and sleeping often get in the way of my reading time.

Most people think forest fires are bad - but Collard has a different approach. Focusing on the effect forest fires have on several bird species, he discusses the way these birds - and other plant and animal species - can actually benefit from forest fires. The ecological effects of forest fires, suppressing and controlling them in various ways, as well as the economic and ecological impact of salvage logging are also discussed. Although Collard has clear opinions, with scientific evidence to back them up, he presents a balanced and nuanced pictures of the effects of forest fires and ways fire control could be addressed in the future.

Lists of birds, statistics, and data are included throughout the book. Back matter includes additional resources, an index, and an introduction to the author and acknowledgements.

Verdict: This is an interesting approach to a little-discussed topic. Readers interested in wildlife and ecology may be interested in picking this up. The only drawbacks are that it's a large picture book-sized layout, something which can be difficult to get older readers to pick up, and as a small press title the price is a little higher than the average hardcover. However, it's worth it to add this informative title to diversify your collection of disaster books and help kids see the different sides of natural disasters.

ISBN: 9780984446070; Published 2015 by Bucking Horse Books; Borrowed from another library in my consortium


Maria Gianferrari said...

I loved this book--as both a bird nerd and a fan of science!

Sneed Collard said...

Hi Jennifer! Thank you for the great review! Am just putting the finishing touches on my fall book, HOPPING AHEAD OF CLIMATE CHANGE—SNOWSHOE HARES, SCIENCE, AND SURVIVAL. I think you'll find that one interesting, too. Meanwhile, keep encouraging those ravenous readers with great book picks! My Best, Sneed