Gr 2-4-- Crinkleroot, the folksy nature guide, has returned to introduce the pleasures of bird watching. All the basics are covered with warmth and accuracy: how to best spot birds in the wild, how to identify them both by appearance and by song, how to attract them to yards, how to differentiate those that migrate from those that are year-round residents, and even how to use binoculars. Although the focus is on observation, information on coloration, body parts, nests, and maturation is also presented, set off in charts that Crinkleroot might have prepared himself for his young fans. His final handwritten note is a bird list that also serves as an index. The picture-book format is inviting, and the pen-and-ink and watercolor art is infused with gentle humor and accurate details. Jill Bailey's Birds (Dorling Kindersley, 1992) is another good guide for children. --Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
Arnosky has created another wonderful nature guide featuring his lovable woodsman, Crinkleroot, who offers tips on everything from how to use binoculars and walk quietly through the woods to avian anatomy and how to distinguish the markings of male, female, and venile birds. Arnosky's bright watercolors and precise renderings of different species make this an especially attractive book, and one that parents will enjoy using with their children. Teachers preparing nature units for primary grade students will also find this a useful resource. Young readers will have a lot of fun trying to reproduce the cries of different birds (WARNING: Arnosky's transcriptions of birdsongs, if performed loudly, sound fairly realistic and may result in a raucous classroom!).