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

Category results for 'nature'.

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

I love the beautiful, cool-toned artwork in this book -- the mixed-media pictures, the blues and greens and collections of complementary colors decorating plumage -- Birds is lovely.

The beginning part of the book contrasts different kinds of birds -- some migrate, others stay home; some are large, others are small, etc. The second half is a simple celebration of the joy of listening to bird songs and watching them fly. 

This book isn't very wordy and doesn't try to be all "educational" about it -- no actual names of birds are mentioned. There's a place for books like that, but I also appreciate the linking of birds with the imagination, and the affirmation that birds bring something important and intangible to our lives.

(In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received this book for free through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review.)

Scrounged From: LibraryThing giveaway

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Carme Lemniscates
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Winter Bees is a wonderful picture book of Joyce Sidman's poetry, especially fitting for those who live in a cold climate like we do. Have you ever wondered where bees go in the winter? Or voles, or beavers? This book contains a double-page spread on each featured piece of nature (mostly animals), containing a poem and then a few paragraphs of information about how the animal gets through winter, which helps to fill out the information in the poem.

The poetry here is lovely, and full of clever descriptive phrases. Most poems are of moderate length, managing to communicate a clear picture of winter survival without becoming repetitive or overly wordy.

Bees are "an ancient tribe, a hardy scrum... Together, we boil, we teem, we hum."

Snoflakes are "a lattice of stars spinning silently..."

A raven is a "Squawker, Croaker, Alarm-on-the-wind."

The poem about beavers is written as a pantoum, a poetry form that I don't remember encountering before, featuring some neat repetition of lines.

The illustrations here are amazing -- colorful, full of texture and life. I especially love how a long picture of a branch is drawn as moving from autumn to winter at the beginning of the book, and then again at the end it is shown morphing from winter into spring. 

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Rick Allen
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

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