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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'nature'.

We enjoyed Joyce Sidman's nature poetry in Winter Bees (review here), and were glad to find another collection with a spring theme in Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow, which we read to finish out the school year this year.

These poems also work as riddles. Each page contains two poems about different aspects of nature in the meadow -- sometimes rodents or bugs, but other times nonliving things like sun and rain. The two answers to the riddle are connected somehow (and described in prose on the page after each riddle), sometimes in more obvious ways than others (butterflies and milkweed, for example), but overall this book helps to show the interconnectedness of all parts of nature when they inhabit the same environment.

The illustrator here is the same as in Swirl by Swirl (review here), but I think the colors are lighter and brigher, and the contrast of the dark lines makes them stand out all the more.

A lovely investigation into nature in spring!

Scrounged From: A used book sale

Format: Hardcover
Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Beth Krommes
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Living with a dinosaur fan can be fun, and I know I've been exposed to and learned so much more about dinosaurs and fossils than I ever did as a kid, thanks to my son taking an interest in them. In Search of Dinosaurs is a dinosaur book that helps to make some connections between the artistic recreations of Mesozoic animals that we see and the fossil dig sites where information about these creatures and environments is collected.

There is a section for each of the three time periods in the Mesozoic Era, and each follows the same format. First we see an artist's recreation of a hypothetical fossil dig. On the next few pages, we see scenes (without text) of what these animals may have looked like when they were alive. This gives readers the opportunity to go back and forth between the fossils and creatures and see if they can figure out which of the living creatures (or parts of them) are represented in the dig.

These scenes are followed by smaller pictures and information blurbs about each creatures -- mostly dinosaurs, but also some other animals such as Cretaceous turtles, as well as ammonites, metaposaurus, a small mammal, etc. There are plenty of good tidbits of information here, but they're presented in a way that's easy to follow. Since the fossils are presented "in context," we also learn a bit more about the kinds of things paleontologists find in digs, and some of the ways they can find clues as to the dinosaurs' behaviors and environments.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Dougal Dixon
Pages: 44
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

A while back I reviewed Counting Birds (review here), which tells the story of how the long-running citizen science project called the "Christmas bird count" developed, and why it's become so important for scientists and for the birds they are aiming to protect.

Bird Count is also about the bird count, but it approaches it from a more personal angle. It tells the fictionalized story of a girl named Ava and her mom as they participate in the bird count, spending an entire wintery day watching, listening, and collecting data. 

We get to see some of the methodology of counting birds at work here -- for example, a bird can only be counted if two or more people in the group see it. The route the group takes is also identified in advance so they can cover a large area. On each page, we see the tally of different types of birds as it's added to.

The "day in the life" aspect of this book helped to make the bird count come alive, and it inspired me to do some reading on The Audubon Society's website to see what kinds of counting groups are available in my area. Maybe someday we'll make this event part of our winter science education!

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Susan Edwards Richmond
Illustrator: Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

It turns out there are some characteristics that are quite necessary to be a butterfly, as the cute and conversational How to Be a Butterfly details -- but within those key characteristics, butterflies can be all kinds of things -- big, small, plain, flashy, with wings that have smooth or wiggly edges, etc.

This book celebrates the diversity of butterflies, accompanied by many lovely illustrations of their colors and their actions, from flying and drinking nectar, to their unique life cycle. 

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Laura Knowles
Illustrator: Catell Ronca
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

The Brilliant Deep is partially about Ken Nedimyer, the founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. It tells about his passion for the sea, and the process he used to transplant healthy coral to dying and shrinking reefs in order to help them thrive again.

(When I read this it instantly reminded me of an episode of Reading Rainbow, in which I clearly remember watching scuba divers gluing coral to rocks. I looked it up and that episode featured a different "coral doctor" than this book, but it appears that the idea is the same.)

But this book is also about how one person can make a difference, and how growth and multiplication of a good thing can help turn the tide (no pun intended) of something bad. The stunning artwork blends so many colors together in a way that conjures up what it must feel like to be surrounded by the dazzling and diverse shapes and colors of living coral. Just as the colors meld together to form something amazing, this story can remind us how interconnected all of life is. 

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Kate Messner
Illustrator: Matthew Forsythe
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

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