From School Library Journal
Grade 3-4-Lasky's picture-book sketch of the naturalist's life focuses on Muir's special love of California's snowy Sierras and Yosemite Valley and his successes in founding Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Club. The author recounts aspects of Muir's boyhood years in Scotland and teens in Wisconsin to introduce his personality and interests, and the brief account of his accomplishments closes with the often-told story of his Alaskan adventure with his dog Stickeen in 1870 and a page on the 1890 legislation to establish Yosemite as a park. The epilogue summarizes his achievements and later years without indicating how long he actually lived. Fellows's acrylic paintings, sometimes full page and often wrapping around the text, provide pleasant impressions of the man and the impressive landscape. This is a useful introduction to Muir, the founding of the national parks, and the broader idea of environmentalism. A final page describes the work of the Sierra Club.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
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Gr. 4-7. Wilderness adventure is an essential part of this big, handsome picture-book biography of a pioneer environmentalist who was entranced by storms as much as by the small things in the wild places he cherished. Lasky's clear prose quotes liberally from diary entries Muir recorded as he walked from Wisconsin to the Gulf Coast of Florida in 1867, tracked glaciers in Alaska in 1870, and later served as guide to the famous, including President Theodore Roosevelt, who founded Yosemite National Park. True to Muir's vision, Fellows' spacious double-page watercolors show the beauty of the wide landscapes in storm and sunshine as well as the tiny details in a single meadow. Back matter includes a bibliography of Muir's quotes and a note about the work of the Sierra Club, which Muir founded in 1892. A good starting place for science and biography projects, this book will also appeal to young activists with its message about people needing "beauty as well as bread." Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved