From the Outdoor School series

Sure to encourage readers to go outside and get to know their animal neighbors.

Part of the Outdoor School series, this book presents the animal world of North America.

Following the same clear organization as other books in the series, this one covers birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and fish. How to be respectful of wildlife while observing them; how animals behave and why; where to look for them; how to identify wildlife using shape, size, color, behavior, and location; and other information is presented in easily digestible segments interspersed with plenty of full-color illustrations. Activities to encourage readers to put their newly acquired knowledge to work in the “Try It,” “Track It,” and “Take it to the Next Level” sections include prepared templates for young people to use to write, draw, and make notes about their discoveries and to affirm their progress by checking off and dating accomplishments. Each color-coded subject segment includes a field guide—also featuring areas for them to jot down notes. The metal-encased cover corners and sewn binding ensure the book will stand up to many trips outdoors. While emphatic about not doing anything dangerous, the book nonetheless encourages budding naturalists to try myriad activities that get them actively observing the natural world. This volume’s narrative style is breezier than the others in the series, with plenty of cheeky asides that skew the tone toward a younger audience.

Sure to encourage readers to go outside and get to know their animal neighbors. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23083-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Odd Dot

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021



“In 1875 there were perhaps fifty million of them. Just twenty-five years later nearly every one of them was gone.” The author of many nonfiction books for young people (Bridges; Truck; Giants of the Highways, etc.) tells the story of the American bison, from prehistory, when Bison latifrons walked North America along with the dinosaurs, to the recent past when the Sioux and other plains Indians hunted the familiar bison. Robbins uses historic photographs, etchings, and paintings to show their sad history. To the Native Americans of the plains, the buffalo was central to their way of life. Arriving Europeans, however, hunted for sport, slaughtering thousands for their hides, or to clear the land for the railroad, or farmers. One telling photo shows a man atop a mountain of buffalo skulls. At the very last moment, enough individuals “came to their senses,” and worked to protect the remaining few. Thanks to their efforts, this animal is no longer endangered, but the author sounds a somber note as he concludes: “the millions are gone, and they will never come back.” A familiar story, well-told, and enhanced by the many well-chosen period photographs. (photo credits) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83025-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000



Here is an adventure in a unique setting. The lively text and lovely watercolors document three and a half months of a summer the artist and author spent at the South Pole, as part of the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists & Writers Program. Hooper describes everyday life aboard the research ship Laurence M. Gould, a sturdy orange icebreaker that scientists use to travel between the islands to study the wide variety of animals who come each year to breed and raise their young. An assortment of penguins, elephant seals, giant petrels, huge skuas, and leopard seals hold center stage. Scientists are less important than the serious business of successfully raising young in the short summer season. The author captures the drama of the ice-cold ocean, alive with life: “Swarms of barrel-shaped blue-tinged salps, stuck together in floating chains. Minute creatures with red eyes. Sliding through the water in a curving path like a ribbon.” The artist provides striking paintings of the landscape and the animals in soft washy colors, and quick pencil sketches. The ice is lemon gold with mauve shadows, and the sea a silver gray in the 24-hour day. Animals are expressive and individual. The krill, the tiny shrimp-like creatures that form the backbone of the ocean food chain, appear in luminous glory. The author concludes with a page on global warming, a map of the islands visited, and an index. From cover to cover a personal and informative journey. (Nonfiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7922-7188-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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