Children's Literature - Mary Sue PreissnerThe National Audubon Society has geared this book to children but you don't have to be a child to delight in the presentations here. It provides information on characteristics such as form and color, habitat, species, and identification of the more widely found specimens. The book contains more than 450 color photographs with an easily read text. The soft vinyl cover provides portability and protection. A removable, water-resistant card can be used for spotting species in the field. The first section of the book provides general information on the topic, including a description of what a naturalist is and does. Essential equipment and rules for observing nature are also mentioned. The structure of plants is presented as well as reproductive methods (in simple language). The second section is entitled "how to look at...." and includes shapes and habitat. The third section, also called the Field Guide, identifies the most common species with a spectacular color photograph on the left, and supporting information and similar species identification on the right. A glossary listing the 50 state flowers, a list of resources, and comprehensive index completes this guide.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5 Up-These handsome books, illustrated with vibrant, full-color photographs, have a lot to offer, but calling them "first field guides" is somewhat misleading. They assume some previous knowledge and background vocabulary, and are not designed to give users quick reference to found items. Instead, they introduce their respective subjects and offer tips on equipment and observation. "How to look" sections give the basic science behind the fields of study. Then come the actual guides, which contain photographs of 50 common wildflowers or rocks and other similar species or formations. Boxed inserts detail the specific information. In Wildflowers, each entry lists what to look for, leaves, height, when the flower blooms, habitat, range, and cautions (when applicable). For Rocks, the boxed inserts give the mineral composition, texture, color, and environment. Each book concludes with an illustrated glossary; Wildflowers includes pictures of the 50 state flowers. Both titles have current lists for further reading that cover a wide range of reading levels and include Web sites. These are attractive and useful additions, but are not stand-alone field guides, per se.-Kathryn Kosiorek, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH
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