by C. Lavett Smith, National Audubon Society Staff

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Editorial Reviews

This introductory series now extends to eleven titles that examine types of animals (insects, amphibians, birds) as well as other aspects of nature (weather, trees, the night sky). A profusion of lovely full-color photos make these pocket-sized books appealing as field guides or reference books. Their brief texts give some background and list size, habitat and range for the items identified. Fishes was written by the curator emeritus of the American Museum of Natural History's Dept. of Ichthyology. It begins by looking at types of fishes, methods of locomotion, senses, feeding habits, fish identification, and conservation, among other topics. The bulk of the book is given over to the field guide, which provides close-up views and descriptions of 50 common North American fishes with smaller photos of over 100 other species. A glossary and list of resources, including web sites, appear at the end. Shells, written by a naturalist and educator, follows a similar format, depicting over 50 commonly found shells in the U.S. and Canada. Both make good starting points for beginning naturalists, biology classrooms and school and public libraries. (National Audubon Society First Field Guide) 2000, Scholastic, 160p, illus, bibliog, index, 99-28106, 18cm, $8.95. Ages Adult. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
You do not need to be an ichthyologist to be fascinated by the amazing world of fishes. More than 23,000 varieties of fishes exist, ranging from the one inch Neon Goby to the forty foot Whale Shark. There are three common features among fish--they all live in water, have fins, and use gills to obtain oxygen. Some fish are specially adapted for their environment. Many have chemicals in their blood to keep them from freezing solid since they are cold-blooded. Some, such as the Oyster Toadfish, are well camouflaged, while others are protected by pointy spines or armor-like scales. Fishes can be identified by their fins, as closely related ones have similar types of fins. In addition to fascinating facts about fishes in general, the guide contains details about 50 fish and brief descriptions of 146 others. The Brown Bullhead catfish is found throughout the eastern United States and has barbs around the mouth and an adipose fin. The Foureye Butterflyfish inhabits coral reefs and has two real eyes, the others are black spots surrounded by a white ring. The photographs are stunning, compelling you to pore over them again and again. As part of a series for the National Audubon Society, the source continues its mission to educate while celebrating the beauty and wonder of nature. 2000, Scholastic, Ages 9 to 12, $17.95 and $8.95. Reviewer: Laura Hummel—Children's Literature

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
National Audubon Society First Field Guides Series
Product dimensions:
5.14(w) x 7.07(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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