Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature's Footprints

Overview

When children learn to recognize and read animal tracks they’re actually mastering an ancient language of shapes and patterns—and gaining knowledge of the natural world. Acclaimed artist and naturalist Jim Arnosky has created a breathtaking and informative reference on the subject, filled with intricately drawn prints from creatures both wild and domestic, as well as large-scale paintings of the animals in their environment. Some of the art, labeled in Arnosky’s own handwriting, even looks as if it came straight ...
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Overview

When children learn to recognize and read animal tracks they’re actually mastering an ancient language of shapes and patterns—and gaining knowledge of the natural world. Acclaimed artist and naturalist Jim Arnosky has created a breathtaking and informative reference on the subject, filled with intricately drawn prints from creatures both wild and domestic, as well as large-scale paintings of the animals in their environment. Some of the art, labeled in Arnosky’s own handwriting, even looks as if it came straight out of his personal notebooks. And best of all, many of the tracks are true to size, so kids can compare the trace left by a big-footed polar bear (whose paws act as snowshoes in its icy home) with that of a small bird. Adding to the eye-catching illustrations are four awesome gatefolds that display paintings of a bobcat, wolf, deer, and a variety of hoofed animals right next to their prints. Every spread has plenty of details on how to interpret the footprint, and the featured menagerie includes bighorn sheep and goats, chipmunks and rabbits, grizzlies and brown bears, horses and burros, domestic cats and dogs, and even slithering reptiles! This is the perfect gift for a budding naturalist, animal lover, or artist.
Jim Arnosky has been honored for his overall contribution to literature for children by the Eva L. Gordon Award and the Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award for nonfiction. Many of his books have been chosen as ALA Notable Books, including Drawing from Nature, a Christopher Award-winner. Wild Tracks! is Jim’s 100th book for children.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
*"This is a splendid example of Arnosky's skill at making natural history come alive for young readers.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
"...a terrific beginning field guide...the uniformly lovely illustrations and the compelling concept make this a book that young naturalists will enjoy year-round." —Booklist
 
*"Arnosky’s infectious enthusiasm for nature is evident...The author invites readers to notice the variations among the tracks of different animals native to North America and the ways that the tracks of individual species can change and fool us. Readers learn that bears walking on slippery surfaces splay their toes so that their tracks give the impression of a larger animal. Arnosky lets children in on these insiders’ tips with the amiable tone of a knowledgeable guide. Three kinds of illustrations support the text. The left side of each spread displays one of the artist’s signature paintings with a colorful setting backing up a precisely rendered animal. Pencil sketches of rows of tracks with measurements hint at the notebook he keeps (and surely hopes that his young readers will keep as well). Finally, life-size paintings of indented prints serve as a guide for readers lucky enough to find an animal track for comparison. Four fold-out pages add to the appeal of the book as a package...this new entry is worthy of purchase for its inviting format and its promising premise that kids can find tracks, interpret them, and have a great time outdoors." —School Library Journal, starred review 

 
 
2009 ALA Notable
Named to 2008 School Library Journal's Best Books of the Year List
Winner of the 2008 ASPCA® Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award in the Nonfiction Environment and Ecology category

School Library Journal

Gr 2-6- Arnosky's infectious enthusiasm for nature is evident in this short overview. The author invites readers to notice the variations among the tracks of different animals native to North America and the ways that the tracks of individual species can change and fool us. Readers learn that bears walking on slippery surfaces splay their toes so that their tracks give the impression of a larger animal. Arnosky lets children in on these insiders' tips with the amiable tone of a knowledgeable guide. Three kinds of illustrations support the text. The left side of each spread displays one of the artist's signature paintings with a colorful setting backing up a precisely rendered animal. Pencil sketches of rows of tracks with measurements hint at the notebook he keeps (and surely hopes that his young readers will keep as well). Finally, life-size paintings of indented prints serve as a guide for readers lucky enough to find an animal track for comparison. Four fold-out pages add to the appeal of the book as a package but may not hold up well through many circulations. There are a number of other books on this topic for children, including Arnosky's own Crinkleroot's Guide To Animal Tracking (S & S, 1989; o.p.), but this new entry is worthy of purchase for its inviting format and its promising premise that kids can find tracks, interpret them, and have a great time outdoors.-Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA

Kirkus Reviews
Both picture book and field guide, Arnosky's 100th book shows how the shape and pattern of animal tracks reveal the identity and activity of the track maker. Clear, accurate drawings of tracks and trails pair with full-page paintings of North American animals from anhinga and white-tailed deer to cottonmouth moccasin and white ibises. He includes both large wild animals-bear and American buffalo-and small creatures whose tracks might be found in a back yard-cats, dogs, rabbits and mice. Four foldout pages show tracks of animal families-deer, other hoofed animals, felines and canines-life-size for easy comparison. A few paragraphs of gentle text introduce each family, pointing out identifying details, comparing them and adding information about the pattern of their tracks. Both attractive and informative, this is a splendid example of Arnosky's skill at making natural history come alive for young readers and listeners as well as their parents. This slim, though oversize, package will spur aspiring nature detectives to do some tracking of their own. (table of contents) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402739859
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 4/4/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 115,207
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.45 (w) x 11.73 (h) x 0.91 (d)

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