Nature in the Neighborhood

Overview

In a book as beautiful as it is informative, author and nature artist Gordon Morrison reveals the diversity and abundance of life that can be found as nearby as your own backyard. As the seasons change, readers learn how the stories and life cycles of each of the plants and animal families in the neighborhood change too. Filled with lovely, detailed illustrations and overflowing with information, Nature in the Neighborhood invites readers to look closely and enjoy the beauty of ...

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Overview

In a book as beautiful as it is informative, author and nature artist Gordon Morrison reveals the diversity and abundance of life that can be found as nearby as your own backyard. As the seasons change, readers learn how the stories and life cycles of each of the plants and animal families in the neighborhood change too. Filled with lovely, detailed illustrations and overflowing with information, Nature in the Neighborhood invites readers to look closely and enjoy the beauty of nature all around them.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Snowmelt on a sidewalk wets soil in a crack and a seed sends out its spring roots. From that one sidewalk crack, we move out to meet the web of life in a whole neighborhood. As time passes, earthworms, robins, squirrels, mourning doves, rabbits, bees, butterflies, frogs, snakes, kestrels, goldfinches, and coyotes make homes, look for food, and raise their young—all in a neighborhood similar to yours or mine. Dandelions, thistle, asters, and goldenrod grow and reproduce. We move through the seasons, beginning and ending with that sidewalk snowmelt. The author formats his children's book as a story with illustrated footnotes. Children can enjoy the main story with the large colorful drawings. They can simply read the fun fact footnotes accompanied by smaller black and white illustrations. Or they can really dig in and read all of the information in these 32 pages. This book extends children's definition of "nature" as "forests, mountains, etc." to include their own backyards and neighborhoods. Some of Morrison's other books are Pond, Oak Tree, and Bald Eagle. 2004, Walter Lorraine Books/Houghton Mifflin Co, Ages 7 to 10.
—Chris Gill
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-While most books about habitats consider vast territories such as rain forests or tundra, Morrison calls attention to the workings of nature close to home. He focuses on plants and animals in a single neighborhood in an unnamed North American city, beginning in spring as the snow melts and following them through the seasons. A robin nests in a fire-alarm box. Weeds claim an empty lot. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plants. Two detailed maps of the neighborhood help readers locate the sites described. Full-color illustrations and standard type move the narration along. Lower on the pages, tiny black-and-white drawings are accompanied by more detailed descriptions of the animals and plants as well as explanations of concepts such as habitat. This format expands the title's usefulness to a broader range of children, depending on their interest and reading ability. At times, however, the amount of information threatens to distract from the main account. Still, this offering could serve as a resource for nature study or community units and will encourage readers to observe and appreciate their own surroundings.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A pleasant and simple narrative describes the wonders of nature that can be observed, the author tells readers in his note, "in your neighborhood." Starting with the changes brought by the warmth of spring and concluding with winter snow piled high on the promise of spring's return, Morrison offers a look at the ways that flora and fauna common to an (unfortunately) unspecified locale transform with the seasons. Pencil-and-watercolor environmental illustrations are charming, and the primary text is supplemented by interesting bits of information, complete with very tiny but lovely pencil drawings, along the bottom of each page. Without some geographic orientation, range maps, a visual index, or other further information, children may assume that the various plants and animals mentioned may all be found in their very own backyards, and, in the case of the plant-focused spreads, may wonder which weed is which. This might whet the interest of a budding naturalist, but may disappoint those looking for a field guide. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)
From the Publisher
This offering could serve as a resource for nature study or community units and will encourage readers to observe and appreciate their own surroundings.
School Library Journal

"Young browsers will enjoy poring over this gentle encouragement to notice and appreciate the buzzing natural world that surrounds them." Booklist, ALA

"A pleasant and simple narrative...[the] pencil-and-watercolor environmental illustrations are charming, and the primary text is supplemented by interesting bits of information." Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547015484
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/18/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 549,641
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon Morrison is a well-known naturalist whose work has been praised by Roger Tory Peterson as "Marvelous, beautiful, excellent . . . Morrison's work is so inspiring that I wish such clear material was available when I was slowly learning ecology. . . . We owe a debt of gratitude to Gordon for his interpretive skills as an artist. He is a superb teacher who uses visual methods." Robert Bateman likened his work to that of Albrecht Durer and Andrew Wyeth. Gordon Morrison makes his home in Massachusetts.

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