From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up-Embarking on a pleasurable journey through the timeline of natural history study and development, Earthkeepers introduces readers to over 40 preservationists, conservationists, ecologists, and environmentalists. Beginning with the self-educated botanist, John Bartram, in the 1700s, Keene presents engaging biographical profiles of each century's notable contributors. Dozens of lesser-known individuals are also hightlighted. The book has sidebars and delineated columnar text that balance the dozens of excellent-quality illustrations, diagrams, and photographs of the "earthkeepers" and their work. John Muir with his bushy beard leaning against a giant redwood reflects the "family album" intimacy complementing the anecdotal style of the main text. Readers will treasure the tidbits of knowledge to be gleaned here. For research or recreation, this volume is an accessible and enjoyable foray into the lives of people dedicated to preserving our natural world.Ellen Dibner, East School, Long Beach, NY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Part of Oxford's new Profiles series for children grade six and above, Earthkeepers
portrays more than 100 naturalists and environmentalists from the 1700s to the present, such as Carl Linnaeus, Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, and John Muir. Forty-six are presented in 44 well-written, interesting essays (the father-and-son team of John and William Bartram and the husband-and-wife team of Olaus and Margaret Muire are treated in one essay each). The remainder are summarized in a paragraph each in chapters entitled "More Earthkeepers to Remember."
Arranged chronologically in four parts, each section begins with an introduction. Each essay includes a sidebar highlighting birth and death dates and places, education, major interests, accomplishments, and honors. A bibliography of further reading accompanies each essay. Color and black-and-white illustrations, some of them covering a full page, supplement the text. There are three appendixes. One gives a brief overview of how plants and animals are classified; another a list of the ages of Earth. A third lists organizations promoting conservation and nature study and their addresses. A glossary, a bibliography, and an index complete the book.
The book covers both sides of the Atlantic, with the U.S., U.K., and France dominating the essays. Considering this is billed as part of Oxford's children's reference collection, the bibliographies consist of titles more appropriate to adults and not readily available in school libraries or YA sections of public libraries.
The decision on whether to shelve this attractive source in the reference section or the circulating section will depend upon the needs of the individual library. The essays will keep budding scientists reading and report writers happy. The table of contents and index ensure easy location of all entries.