Books by Gordon Morrison

A DROP OF WATER by Gordon Morrison
Released: Oct. 23, 2006

The drop of water on a child's finger may have begun in a rain cloud over a mountaintop, collected in a high forest stream, traveling down through bogs, woods, swamp, marsh and farmer's pond before continuing into the meadow brook the child explores. Illustrated with detailed pencil-and-watercolor drawings of each ecological niche, this gentle circular story emphasizes the interconnectedness of all nature and the human's relatively small role in the workings of the vast system. It rewards careful attention. Each picture contains something of what came before. With well-chosen examples appealing to all the senses, the spare text exemplifies the author's prefatory admonition to consider our surroundings. Animals and plants mentioned (including the child) are described in more detail in an illustrated appendix, offering young naturalists a place to start their own explorations. Carefully crafted and beautifully executed, this is a splendid addition to the science bookshelf. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-10)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 25, 2004

A pleasant and simple narrative describes the wonders of nature that can be observed, the author tells readers in his note, "in your neighborhood." Starting with the changes brought by the warmth of spring and concluding with winter snow piled high on the promise of spring's return, Morrison offers a look at the ways that flora and fauna common to an (unfortunately) unspecified locale transform with the seasons. Pencil-and-watercolor environmental illustrations are charming, and the primary text is supplemented by interesting bits of information, complete with very tiny but lovely pencil drawings, along the bottom of each page. Without some geographic orientation, range maps, a visual index, or other further information, children may assume that the various plants and animals mentioned may all be found in their very own backyards, and, in the case of the plant-focused spreads, may wonder which weed is which. This might whet the interest of a budding naturalist, but may disappoint those looking for a field guide. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)Read full book review >
POND by Gordon Morrison
Released: Sept. 30, 2002

Superb watercolors and a brief but insightful text provide the reader with a detailed picture of a fresh-water pond and the changing plants and animals living in and near it, from winter to spring and back again. The layout is varied and handsome, and the illustrator frequently changes perspective in his layout to add drama and invite careful looking. Each double-page spread includes one or more paintings in full color with additional details provided in thumbnail pencil sketches. For example, in one frame, he shows a gathering of dragonflies on weeds, while the pencil drawings detail the dragonfly nymph, and compare the dragonfly and damselfly. Children will enjoy discovering the dozen animals and plants provided in a single sweeping panorama. And older readers will appreciate the explanations of how ice forms in ponds, and how they change over time. New facts are provided for experienced nature enthusiasts, too. For example, the barred owl may hunt in the daytime and young blackbirds mature rapidly, able to fly only a week after hatching. A celebration of nature that can be enjoyed by all. (Nonfiction. 6-9)Read full book review >
BALD EAGLE by Gordon Morrison
Released: April 1, 1998

This handy natural-history resource book includes everything readers need to know about eagles and more. Through two levels of text—a narrative and an abundance of extremely detailed asides—Morrison presents the lifecycle of the bald eagle and the particulars of their habits and habitats. The primary text, accompanied by realistic watercolors, begins and ends with the hatching of an eaglet, and in clear, flowing language chronicles all stages of development. Detailed pencil drawings and diagrams supplement the secondary text, which offers more specific information about the eagles, such as their anatomy, prey, and flight techniques, in equally simple, lucid language. Morrison keeps it short and uncomplicated, but includes plenty of information by making good use of the page, keeping the watercolors at the fore, and the pencil drawings to the sides and bottoms of pages. Neither cursory nor overwhelming, this useful tool bespeaks the quiet passion of its creator, and passes it along to budding ornithologists. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9) Read full book review >