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Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature's Footprints Hardcover – April 4, 2008


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Frequently Bought Together

Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature's Footprints + Big Tracks, Little Tracks:  Following Animal Prints (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) + Animal Tracks
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2–6—Arnosky's infectious enthusiasm for nature is evident in this short overview. The author invites readers to notice the variations among the tracks of different animals native to North America and the ways that the tracks of individual species can change and fool us. Readers learn that bears walking on slippery surfaces splay their toes so that their tracks give the impression of a larger animal. Arnosky lets children in on these insiders' tips with the amiable tone of a knowledgeable guide. Three kinds of illustrations support the text. The left side of each spread displays one of the artist's signature paintings with a colorful setting backing up a precisely rendered animal. Pencil sketches of rows of tracks with measurements hint at the notebook he keeps (and surely hopes that his young readers will keep as well). Finally, life-size paintings of indented prints serve as a guide for readers lucky enough to find an animal track for comparison. Four fold-out pages add to the appeal of the book as a package but may not hold up well through many circulations. There are a number of other books on this topic for children, including Arnosky's own Crinkleroot's Guide To Animal Tracking (S & S, 1989; o.p.), but this new entry is worthy of purchase for its inviting format and its promising premise that kids can find tracks, interpret them, and have a great time outdoors.—Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA
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From Booklist

With this book’s large format and simple organizational structure, Arnosky’s latest trek into the world of North American wildlife makes a terrific beginning field guide. Tracks are separated into categories (bear, deer, cat, and so on), each presented in a two-page spread. On the left, a full-color painting displays an animal, and its tracks, in its natural habitat. On the right, information about the tracks, and how to read them, appears as pencil-sketch reproductions from Arnosky’s own notebook. Subsequent pages follow each category with paintings of life-size prints, with some pages folding out to accommodate the biggest. Arnosky supplements the track identification information with fascinating related material in notebook-style entries. Although the treatment of each category varies some, noting everything from length of stride to footprint changes in different seasons, the uniformly lovely illustrations and the compelling concept make this a book that young naturalists will enjoy year-round. Grades 1-3. --Thom Barthelmess
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 1040L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Ina edition (April 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402739850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402739859
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9.2 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This is a terrific book that sells itself as you thumb through it.
Amazon mom
When you learn to read animal tracks, you also begin to observe often subtle details which grow into one of life's real skills in dealing with people.
Theodore A. Rushton
This is a great book that will appeal to any nature, animal or science lover.
Lori Calabrese "Children's Books Examiner"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Theodore A. Rushton on March 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
At last, a truly useful book about identifying animal tracks.

It offers something I've never seen before, and yet which is priceless. It presents animal tracks in full size, thanks to a series of four fold-out pages. It's a simple idea, but I've never seen it used in any other book about wildlife. Maybe that's just me.

Most books on animal life and nature can be slipped into a shirt pocket; the result is a picture of moose footprints that are a postage stamp in size and mouse footprints in postage stamp size. This book, thanks to its generous size, presents footprints as seen in real life. Believe me, the difference is worth it.

The writing is concise, clear and informative without being pedantic; Aronsky writes, "When you learn to recognize and read animal tracks you are learning an ancient language of shapes and patterns." Ancient, yes; but also modern. When you learn to read animal tracks, you also begin to observe often subtle details which grow into one of life's real skills in dealing with people.

It's not just a book for hikers, campers and outdoor types. The section on canine tracks shows the tracks of dogs, as in every city; plus the tracks of coyotes, which now range throughout North America and into the heart of almost every urban environment.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall reports of coyotes in Central Park, in New York City. Coyotes are smart enough to be there, and to stay out of sight; it makes the ability to identify coyote and dog tracks interesting even for high-rise residents of Fifth Avenue.

'Wily Coyote' is no longer confined to the Southwest; he may never be able to catch the Roadrunner, but he's expanded his range across the nation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rob Moses on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My five-year-old son is all about animals - hunting and tracking them, mostly. His class's tracking box at school really intrigued him and one day he came home and said he needed a book that would help him identify footprints of wild animals. It was almost Christmas time, I headed straight to Amazon.com that afternoon, and it didn't take long to find this book. I'm so glad we got it for him. It's just what he wanted, has great pictures, detailed info. I love the fact that the prints are life-size. I think it's a book that will be useful to him for several years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori Calabrese "Children's Books Examiner" VINE VOICE on July 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Did you know that when children learn to recognize and read animal tracks they're actually mastering an ancient language of shapes and patterns--and gaining knowledge of the natural world? In Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature's Footprints, Jim Arnosky takes us on an adventure into the footprints of North American wildlife. This is a great book that will appeal to any nature, animal or science lover. Tracks are separated into categories (bear, deer, cat, etc...) and are beautifully displayed on a two-page spread. The information varies for each animal, but includes facts such as length of stride to footprint changes in different seasons. Learn how a big-footed polar bear's paws act as snowshoes in its icy home and how the tracks of coyotes now range into the heart of almost every urban environment.

What's amazing about this book is how the layout includes large-scale paintings that display the animal and its tracks; information about the tracks; and pencil-sketches from Arnosky's own notebook! Some pages fold out to show the tracks true to size, so children can compare their own prints to different animals. Every spread has plenty of details on how to interpret the footprint, and the featured menagerie includes bighorn sheep and goats, chipmunks and rabbits, grizzlies and brown bears, horses and burros, domestic cats and dogs, and even slithering reptiles!

There are so many wonderful activities you can incorporate with this book. Whether you're trekking into the woods searching for animal tracks, comprising an animal tracking log, or just trying to guess what animal made that footprint, this is certainly a wonderful addition to any nature lover's collection.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lola 48 on July 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book when my Grandaughter, who is six, was going to be vacationing with us. We read the book from cover to cover. Next we packed off to the woods with our book and successfully found at least six or seven sets of animal tracks that we could identify with this book and started our animal tracking log.

It's great fun for anyone looking for adventure in the woods.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dogwood on January 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Aimed to elementary ages but I highly enjoyed reading it to my children and learned some facts myself. I love that the fold-out pages compare similar tracks on the same page in "real" size. My kids couldn't believe that a horse hoof was that big! Their reaction to some of it made me laugh. The kids are ages 3, 6, 8, 8, and all enjoyed this reading and asked for a repeat. We did stop midway through and resume later in the day because of fighting over who could see best :/
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