From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4--With this beautiful and engrossing photographic guide, Bishop creates another exciting study of natural history that will make children sit up, take notice, and wonder. Focusing on deciduous forests, the book consists of brief chapters that showcase life in the understory, the treetops, and at the edge of the woods. Other sections cover "Waking in Spring," nocturnal creatures, "The Fall," and "Winter Survivors." Each chapter opens with a stunning photographic spread that is crammed with pictures of animals, plants, and insects--all life-sized except when they are highlighted by a magnifying glass. Each scene is followed by a two-page description of the denizens of that location. Only a snippet of information about each animal is provided. A list of hints for forest exploration, a segment that points out things to observe in a tri-monthly rotation, and a wonderful picture index are appended. Though not useful for fieldwork or research, this title's eye-catching visuals and oversized format are great for firing enthusiasm and encouraging browsing. Extend the reading experience with Jim Arnosky's "Crinkleroot" series (S & S) and "All About" series (Scholastic), and Robert Sabuda's "The Young Naturalist's Pop-Up Handbooks" (Hyperion).--Dona Ratterree, New York City Public Schools
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Gr. 3-6. As with the author's previous nature close-ups, this forest tour is designed to sharpen viewers' powers of observation as well as provide help in identifying many kinds of common insects and other small creatures. Bishop offers unlabeled, full-bleed photo collages teeming with life, followed by spreads of visually keyed captions. Assembled from approximately 60 digitally combined and corrected photographs, each of the seven close-up tableaux highlights one level of a deciduous North American woodland in a different season. Unaccountably, Bishop tones down his accompanying notes, so that, for instance, tree damage from gypsy moth caterpillars "doesn't happen very often," and all the wasps he mentions lay eggs "near" rather than on or in chosen prey. But he does a good job of introducing a number of insects, birds, and mammals that children are apt to see during a walk in the woods, appends suggestions for developing a nature journal, and provides a quick-reference visual index. Both budding naturalists and fans of Walter Wick's I Spy series will linger over this spectacular woodland foray. John PetersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved