How to be a Nature Detective
Millicent Selsam ~ Ezra Jack Keats
William R. Scott, 1958
How did I manage to drive through three states over the last five days and only visit one used book store? Oh, I hate vacations that are jammed packed with so much fun you don't get to shop! And to think of all those lovely New England shelves I could have explored. No matter. The one I did manage to loot gave me a handful of great titles the boy did not yet possess. (Plus, the burn was numbed somewhat when I arrive home to a bulging envelope of Random House fun from my new and most awesome blog friend, the apple and the egg. Thanks Nikalas! Now, how to reciprocate? Oh, the options!)
So, instead of rummaging through old children's books, the boy and I spent the vacation time searching tidal pools and digging up sand... bird watching and splashing in the frigid surf of the Atlantic. Basically, just being nature detectives. (Did you know my son can pick out a loon from a grebe from a eider duck now?) Lucky this find was towards the beginning of the trip so it got a number of reads to help propel us along the nature-loving trail. Penned by our favorite science writer and drawn by the wonderful Mr. Keats, books like this make me wish I had more time away from the modern world to explore the small signs around us.
You can be a detective too, a special kind of detective -- a nature detective. nature detectives find tracks and clues that answer these questions:
What animal walked here?
Where did it go?
What did it do
What did it eat?
Where does a nature detective look for clues? Almost anywhere -- in a backyard, in a woods, in a city park.
With drawings done in signature Keats style, each page sets us along the path to using our eyes, ears and noses to solve the constant mystery of the natural world that most of us are too business to notice in the everyday. A splendid pick for parents wanting to get children back to nature. At four, my son is really beginning to get into reenacting things that he sees and reads about, so all these views into the wild are great for him. In that vein, if anyone knows of bird-related vintage books, please pass the names along. The fowl frenzy is reaching a crescendo around these parts and any and everything featuring a bird is devoured whole upon sight.
In a Spring Garden
Maggie and the Pirate
Whistle for Willie
Plenty of Fish
Seeds and More Seeds