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by Doris Gove & illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-689-31800-6
Publisher: Atheneum

 Depicted by a former nature-center director, a fascinating expedition: On a rainy night, a boy and his parents collect new specimens. Since they've kept his current favorite (``It's such a great toad'') for two weeks, Mom says it's time to let it go and get a replacement. Gove's smooth narrative features vivid descriptions (``An orange newt crosses the road, walking up on its toes and holding its tail high''), animal behavior and lore (Mom explains the umbilical scar on a turtle's belly), and humane information on how to catch insects, reptiles, and amphibians for temporary observation (larger ones go into pillowcases for the ride home). Krudop (Blue Claws, 1993) takes a painterly approach that differs radically from the precise style Beverly Duncan brought to Gove's A Water Snake's Year (1991), but his sure hand with composition and rich, dark hues highlighted by the headlights' glow admirably suit this nighttime adventure. An inspiring look at finding out about nature while treating it kindly. (Picture book. 5-10)