Books by Cathryn Sill

Released: Aug. 1, 2019

"This powerful conservation message is both accessible and lovely. (glossary, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 3-6)"
In this extremely elementary introduction to Earth's sources of fresh water, a simple sentence on each verso is matched by full-page watercolor art on the recto. Read full book review >
SEASHORES by Cathryn Sill
by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"The beautifully designed layout and succinct text combine with the backmatter to offer very accessible nonfiction reading for the very young as well as early grade students. (Informational picture book. 5-8)"
The creators of the About Habitats series add another excellent edition filled with information about various seashore environments around the world. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2016

"Dependable fare for budding naturalists. (bibliography, websites) (Informational picture book. 6-8)"
For the 16th entry in their About… wildlife series, the Sills look to the oceans. Read full book review >
ABOUT PARROTS by Cathryn Sill
Released: Aug. 1, 2014

"Overall, though, this is a uniquely attractive work with which to round out the bird section, and it is overall an appealing and comprehensive introduction. (Informational picture book. 3-8)"
A vibrant variety of parrots is portrayed in clear, vivid watercolor illustrations with a simple text describing physical characteristics and habits. Read full book review >
FORESTS by Cathryn Sill
by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill
Released: March 1, 2014

"A solid introduction, though it's not without its flaws. (map, glossary, bibliography, list of websites) (Informational picture book. 3-6)"
The Sills add to their About Habitats series with this look at the forests of the world. Read full book review >
ABOUT HABITATS by Cathryn Sill
Released: March 1, 2009

In this introduction to the mountain habitat, Cathryn Sill relates facts about mountains and the living things that make their homes on them. The text is composed of simple sentences, one to two on each left-hand page, set against a white background. On each right-hand page appears John Sill's realistic watercolor illustration of a particular mountain or mountain range. One page informs readers, for instance, that "plants and animals living on steep, rocky mountainsides have special ways of surviving." The watercolor opposite depicts, according to its label, the Alps, with parsley fern and wallcreeper in situ. To truly understand the connection between picture and text, readers must visit the afterword, which consists of thumbnails of each illustration, along with additional information. Here, they learn details about how the parsley fern and the wallcreeper survive in a steep, rocky environment. A solid introduction sure to help readers develop an appreciation for the scope and unique beauty of the mountains and mountain ranges that grace our planet. (glossary, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 5-10)Read full book review >
Released: March 31, 2006

Sill introduces 17 marsupials with a brief line of text and a full-page color painting by the illustrator of nine other outstanding titles in this series. The author, a former elementary-school teacher, demonstrates once again her ability to capture the essential features a group of animals share with an economy of text—a difficult feat as marsupials vary in size, diet, habitat and appearance. She includes the three-inch marsupial mole and the six-foot Red Kangaroo; the diurnal Numbat, and the nocturnal Spotted Cuscus; the vegetarian Koala and the meat-eating Tasmanian Devil. The afterword provides size, range and other information on each of the species included, a brief glossary, bibliography and web sites. Full color paintings of wombats, wallabies, opossums, tree kangaroos and more are superb, extending the text and providing a wealth of detail. A handsome introduction to an unusual group of mammals. (Nonfiction. 7-10)Read full book review >
ABOUT MOLLUSKS by Cathryn Sill
Released: March 1, 2005

The latest in the About . . . series casts the spotlight on an often-overlooked group—the mollusks. This beginner's guide teaches readers in small, digestible bits, giving one to two sentences of facts per page in simple language. Sill presents the basic facts—mollusks have soft bodies with no bones and grow from eggs—but she also makes the diversity of the group apparent. Some have shells, some are shell-less; some live on land, most in the water; some are predators, while some eat vegetation. The author's afterword is a wonderful resource, showing a thumbnail of each illustration, fleshing out the fact given on the page, and giving more information about the featured mollusk. Don't skip this—it gives some of the work's most interesting facts. For instance, "Common Violet Snails blow bubbles that harden and make a raft." They can then ride the raft on the ocean surface and find food. Vibrant watercolor illustrations vividly portray the colors and textures of the animals and their habitats and are a good mix of commonly known and unusual mollusks. A good beginning text about this unique group. (bibliography, Web sites) (Nonfiction. 3-7)Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2004

A young naturalist's guide to the hard-bodied creatures often spotted at the seashore introduces crustaceans as animals that have a hard shell protecting their soft bodies. Children will especially enjoy the cooler facts that are included—crustaceans shed their shells when they get too small, some have eyes on stalks, and some can even regenerate a lost limb. Sill explains the difference between a scavenger and a predator, as well as the fact that crustaceans are also an important part of the food chain. The text features simple language and short sentences and defines vocabulary within the sentence, making it easy for children to learn new words. Marvelous paintings evoke the seashore, with all its color and fluidity. Each plate is numbered and labeled with the crustacean's name, along with the names of other animals in the scene. An afterword gives more details about the animals featured, but would be more appealing to young readers if it were opposite the full-color illustrations instead of at the back of the book and in black and white. An excellent first resource book for young children. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6)Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2003

The Sills continue their tour (About Fish, not reviewed, etc.) through the animal kingdom, introducing 16 spiders, mites, scorpions and other arachnids with full-page portraits, captioned by one-lined general observations: "Most arachnids are predators, hunting for and eating smaller animals." The presentation is somewhat uneven; though most of the paintings are meticulously exact close-ups. Both the Eastern Wood Ticks on a rabbit's ear and the young Garden Spiders launching themselves into the air on strands of silk are too tiny to make out useful details, and the follow-up notes at the end gather fascinating facts but do not consistently specify size, range, or, sometimes, even diet for the chosen examples. Still, the scenes of a (harmless) Daring Jumping Spider perched atop a bottle cap, or the (far from harmless) Brown Recluse lurking in an empty shoe, along with an array of fearsome-looking scorpions, should give casual browsers a delighted shiver or two. And young readers in general will benefit from the reminder (or news) that spiders have such a variety of close relatives. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)Read full book review >
ABOUT BIRDS by Cathryn Sill
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

Fifteen exquisite, scrupulously accurate watercolors of birds in their habitats are captioned by a deceptively simple text that offers one fact per illustration: ``Birds travel in different ways'' (Canada Geese). ``Most birds fly'' (Ruby- throated Hummingbird), ``but some swim'' (Wood Ducks), ``and others run'' (Greater Roadrunner). An Afterword briefly expands on the text, including specifics about relative sizes and birds' contributions to the environment. An excellent concept book that takes its young audience seriously while skillfully providing the basics of an important subject. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 3+) Read full book review >