Watching Water Birds

Overview

Naturalist Jim Arnosky's lively first-person text and captivating, full-color artwork give young readers an intriguing close-up look at the habits, habitats, and distinctive features of loons, gulls, herons, and other water birds. Includes lots of fun facts and details that reinforce natural science concepts taught in elementary school.

Provides a personal look at various species of fresh- and ...

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Overview

Naturalist Jim Arnosky's lively first-person text and captivating, full-color artwork give young readers an intriguing close-up look at the habits, habitats, and distinctive features of loons, gulls, herons, and other water birds. Includes lots of fun facts and details that reinforce natural science concepts taught in elementary school.

Provides a personal look at various species of fresh- and saltwater birds, including loons and grebes, mergansers, mallards, wood ducks, Canada geese, gulls, and herons.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With one to two spreads per species, the volumes reflect the authorartist's meticulous research in both text and detailed illustrations. Ages 6-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Exquisite, full color illustrations of birds make this a physically beautiful book. Several of Arnosky's subjects are rendered in life-size detail. The text is chatty, with the author sharing some of his special moments watching the birds described. His love of water birds is palpable, and may inspire readers to pick up their binoculars and share in his joy. However, the book is far from an exhaustive source, discussing only a handful of species representative of a minority of the groups that can be lumped together as "water birds." A bibliography listing additional sources would have been helpful.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4--Personal observations accompany magnificent up-close views of these water denizens as they wade, dive, swim, or fly. Life-sized paintings show the birds' true colors in this introduction to the joys of watching wildlife. Oct.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4Arnosky introduces readers to his favorite water birds in this stunningly illustrated oversized book. He weaves facts and many personal observations in the breezy conversational blocks of text and informative captions that surround the naturalistic, almost photoreal, watercolor paintings. Common varieties of fresh and saltwater inhabitants are includedfrom mallards and Canada geese to gulls, herons, loons, and grebes. Mergansers and wood ducks also appear. The artist obviously has spent a great deal of time watching these birds. He offers marvelous anatomical detail and captures close-up views of that casual observers rarely get to see. Best of all are the dramatic full- and double-page life-sized drawings showing the creatures diving, swimming, or swallowing a nine-inch trout. There are certainly more detailed nonfiction titles and field guides available, but this title's strength is the enthusiasm and appreciation for nature that it conveys to young people. It's bound to spark the interest of wildlife watchers and budding artists alike. Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
A cross between a naturalist's diary of backyard observations and a guide to identifying water birds, for newcomers or for pint-sized veterans of duck-feeding at the local pond.

Arnosky (Rabbits & Raindrops, 1997, etc.) collects a random assortment of typical water fowl, based on personal sightings, and accompanied by sketches, notes, and full-color, actual-size portraits of a few favorites. Useful identification tips highlight dissimilarities between loons and grebes, geese and ducks, male and female of each species. One exception is the omission of visual references to egrets in their comparison with herons. Arnosky's distinctions include differences in flight characteristics, coloring and markings, and habitat selection, which sharpen the focus to an untrained eye. Birds are depicted in flight or underwater as well as coming in for a landing or gliding on water. A splash of facts inserted in side panels show such things as the mallard's habit of "tipping up" or where the female's wings are tucked when not in flight. In an easy conversational style, Arnosky explains just how a seagull spots the sparkling broadsides of fleeing fish underwater. Remarking on his own drawings, the author encourages readers to copy his illustrations in addition to sketching birds outdoors, taking this bird lesson a step beyond mere identification.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792267393
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.77 (w) x 10.38 (h) x 0.13 (d)

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