Books by Robin Brickman

Released: April 1, 2015

"While most readers won't become cheerleaders for poison ivy, they will at least come away with a greater understanding of its importance and an increased ability to identify it. (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
Sanchez introduces a new perspective on this potentially itch-causing plant: Poison ivy plays a vital role in providing food for forest animals throughout the year, especially at times when other food is scarce. Read full book review >
WINGS by Sneed B. Collard III
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

The creative team that collaborated on Beaks (2002) tackles the subject of wings. Beginning with a look at the many types of animals that have wings, Collard then offers some examples of the wide diversity of wing styles—differences in size, color and covering are all explored. He presents the dynamics of flight briefly, along with ways wings can influence an animal's activities and the many things animals accomplish by using their wings. The text concludes by comparing animals' wings to the wings humans have invented to achieve flight. Font differences make the text easily adaptable to many age groups—for the very young, just a short sentence, while for older readers there is an entire paragraph of information. Every animal is labeled, and the list of resources and glossary at the back will help children learn more. Brickman's awe-inspiring artwork was created by painting paper with watercolors, then cutting, sculpting and gluing the individual pieces of each collage. The result is an amazing feast of color and texture that brings the creatures to life and helps readers see how wings work. A must-have for every library collection. (Nonfiction. 3-8)Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2005

The creators of Beaks! (2002) nose out more wonders of nature with a visit to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. With Brickman's teeming marine scenes for visuals, done in intricately shaped and painted paper collage, Collard introduces a sampling of the vast array of tropical fish and other reef-dwelling fauna. Then in an awed tone, he describes the recently discovered and still unexplained mass spawning in which, on certain spring nights beneath a full moon, more than a hundred different species of corals simultaneously release vast clouds of sperm and trillions of egg packets. He goes on to trace the development of a single coral polyp from fertilization to a large colony ready for the next spawning. Readers will come away intrigued by the phenomenon and eager to check out the multimedia resources on the appended list. This stands out from the school of other reef tours on library shelves, both for its special focus and for its riveting illustrations. (index, glossary) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)Read full book review >
BEAKS! by Sneed B. Collard III
Released: July 1, 2002

This exploration of bird beaks will fly off the shelf. Collard, a scientist, biologist, and author of over 30 nature titles, including Butterfly Count (p. 101), provides a treasure trove of interesting facts about beaks that peck, probe, crush, tear, tap, skim, scoop, stab, pry, and dig. For instance, the twisted beak of the crossbill is just perfect for prying apart the scales of pinecones to expose the seeds that it laps up with its sticky tongue. Or the large colorful toucan's beak looks heavy but is really very light because of a honeycomb construction. Some gull beaks change colors as the bird grows older, while puffins shed bright-colored beak decorations each year. The choice of artist was truly brilliant, as it is her work that sets this apart. She provides spectacular watercolor and cut-paper collages that not only complement the text, but should cause gasps of wonder. Many double-page layouts showing birds in their natural environment are suitable for display. The author provides a short quiz to "Test your beak-ability," inviting the reader to predict what birds eat by looking at their beaks. Includes a bibliography and Web sites for more information. (Nonfiction. 5-9)Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1996

Swallows in the Birdhouse ($15.90; March 1996; 32 pp.; 1-56294-182-8): A fictionalized treatment of the arrival of tree swallows at a wooden nesting box built by two children, Hayley and Martin; they retreat from the text after the first three pages and thereafter appear only in the illustrations. Ardent nature-lovers may prefer their information more straight up than this offering allows, but budding ornithologists will be lured in and find plenty to pore over: not only the details of the swallows' stay, but the sculptured look of Brickman's pretty watercolor collages. (Picture book. 5-8) . . . Read full book review >
I AM AN ARTIST by Pat Lowery Collins
Released: Sept. 15, 1992

``I am an artist when I follow a line where it leads me,'' begins this exploration of the many kinds of response to the world that may lead to an aesthetic experience, if not to creating a work of art: noticing patterns, putting names to colors, touching a rough surface, observing natural phenomena, and more. While suggesting the delight in precisely observed detail, Brickman's carefully wrought accompanying images leave scope for the imagination in their ample white space and with colorful points of focus that fade into black and white in their peripheral surroundings. The reiterated title grates, a bit; otherwise, a gentle, attractive nudge to the creative instinct. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5-8) Read full book review >