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Go Wild in New York City

Go Wild in New York City

3.0 2
by Brad Matsen, Paul Corio (Illustrator), Kate Lake (Illustrator)
Go Wild in New York City is the brainchild of author Brad Matsen and philanthropist Ted Kheel. Its mission is to open kids' eyes to the hidden natural wonders of the urban environment-in this case, New York City. This book will help children understand and celebrate city life, while also sparking interest in science topics and promoting ways of caring for the earth.


Go Wild in New York City is the brainchild of author Brad Matsen and philanthropist Ted Kheel. Its mission is to open kids' eyes to the hidden natural wonders of the urban environment-in this case, New York City. This book will help children understand and celebrate city life, while also sparking interest in science topics and promoting ways of caring for the earth. This book seeks to answer children's most basic questions such as, "Where does water come from?" or "Why is the sky blue?" It also serves up page after page of fascinating trivia and fun facts about the Big Apple. For instance: " New York City's hottest day ever? (July 9, 1936 when the thermometer climbed to 115 degrees Fahrenheit!) " The amount of sewage generated in an average day? (1.4 billion gallons) " Did you know that at the end of the 19th Century, Manhattan alone had 150,000 horses living in it? (And no public street-cleaning works?) " Oh, and about those alligators in the sewer system?

All chapters discuss pollution issues and environmental concerns. Each chapter features activities for the reader, as well as websites to go to for further research. The back matter includes resources, an index, additional information and websites, a complete map of New York City, and information on the missions of the organizations involved. Go Wild is supported by the non-profit organization Nurture New York's Nature (NNYN) headed by a legendary mediator in the labor industry and the extremely philanthropic Ted Kheel. NNYN's mission is to bring attention to the need for sustainable development in urban environments. Mr. Kheel's passion for his work has initiated an assortment of projects supporting resource-friendly development and awareness throughout New York City. By inspiring this book, Mr. Kheel hopes to reach out to the children of the city and incite their environmental awareness at an early age. Mr. Kheel's extensive personal connections, including the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Mikhail Baryshnikov, will certainly help to promote this book and make it a sales success. Mr. Kheel's Go Wild "team" will be working in and out of the City to get the word out. Mr. Kheel is very committed to this project and appears to have an endless supply of resources, both socially and monetarily, to help support the project.

This book is also tied to the extraordinary art exhibition that is slated to begin in the city in February 2005-The Gates Project for Central Park. This project, supported by NNYN and paid for by the artists themselves, will feature the artwork of famed artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. This exhibition, which has already been receiving an enormous amount of attention in NYC, marks the first time these artists are granting full license to anyone to use their intellectual property. All proceeds from this will be used to create awareness of the importance of nurturing New York's nature to the health and well being of the City's inhabitants, and to support the Arts for their power to advance that goal.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Wild nature is not something easily imagined in a hustle-bustle city like New York. But this informative book tantalizes readers in its quest to bring nature science to the city. Skippy, a gray New York squirrel, pulls readers along on a knowledgeable tour about the water, rocks, air, plants, multi-legged critters, birds, and garbage of the city. Pages are packed with spiffy-looking side bars, text, photos and diagrams. Activities such as identifying rocks, growing a tree, doing website games, calculations, and experiments also appear. Facts shown as timelines and comparisons run along the bottom edge of some pages. Text is readable and comprehensive. The various science topics depicted make this a good supplemental book for science lessons already taking place in the classroom. The book can be read as a whole or as individual topics. While it looks like a picture book, the amount of information and size of text deem it usable for students of at least middle-grade age on up. The only problem seems to be that pictures on the table of contents page are shown with a black number in a black circle beside them. The number shows up even though the intent may have been to black it out, but the number and pictures do not correlate. 2005, National Geographic Society, Ages 8 up.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-An eye-popping resource for any child curious about the state of the natural world in the Big Apple. Those who believe the city to be home only to squirrels, pigeons, rats, and the occasional cockroach will be astounded by the wide variety of life revealed within these pages. The book combines colorful illustrations and hundreds of photographs with a text that details everything from history to rock formations to the city's public gardens. Each chapter examines a different aspect of nature, spotting the text with sights of interest and ways in which readers can interact with the world around them. The book encourages environmental conservancy while dishing up little-known facts (such as the existence of rooftop beehives in Brooklyn) in an appealing format. Matsen turns cold, hard facts into riveting reading with apparent ease. The book will be of most interest to native New Yorkers, with a few aspects appealing to city dwellers and kids concerned about the environment elsewhere.-Elizabeth Bird, Jefferson Market Branch, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Young folk, urbanites or otherwise, who think that the Big City's all concrete and honking horns will think differently after this breezy, exuberantly illustrated tour squired by Skippy, an Eastern Gray Squirrel with a taste for bagels. Readers will not only get ganders at dozens of New York sights and neighborhoods, but at water tunnels deep below ground, the city's geological formations and history, its weather, gardens, common flora, insect life (in a chapter appropriately titled "Rulers of New York"), wildlife from snakes to birds and finally the food-to-garbage cycle. Along with plenty of urging to plant a mini-garden, start a worm box, conserve natural resources, get outdoors and like interactions with the environment, Matsen sprinkles his travelogue liberally with memorable factlets-yes, an alligator was once found in a storm drain-and child-friendly Web sites. The artful mix of small, clear, sometimes riveting photos, some amusingly manipulated, with cartoons, cutaway views, maps and simple diagrams adds plenty of color and visual detail. Capped by a terrific resource list, this is going to be opening eyes and minds far beyond the borders of the Big Apple. (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Product Details

National Geographic Society
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.45(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.46(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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Go Wild in New York City 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son loves the illustrations, and I learn something new about NY every time I read the book to him. Tons of activities too. It's great for kids of any age.