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In My Backyard Hardcover – March 13, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4—Ruurs introduces youngsters to some animals that they might see in their own yards. Among the featured creatures are a snail, wasp, mouse, and wren. Broda's skillful paper sculptures enliven the pages with a colorful depiction of the animal in its surroundings; each one faces a gray-and-white silhouette above the text. In many cases, the monochromatic picture features the young, such as tadpoles and spiderlings, but this relationship does not always hold true. Notes at the end provide additional information as well as clues to encourage observers to find the creature in one picture that will be featured on the following pages. Finding an elusive ladybug on each spread poses an additional visual challenge. Ruurs also suggests ways to make backyards more inviting for wildlife. The size and type of illustrations limit the book's use with groups and might require some hand-selling to move it off the shelves. One-on-one sharing with an adult or individual reading by older children could encourage outdoor observation and involvement. Nic Bishop offers photos of over 100 creatures in the oversize Backyard Detectives (Scholastic, 2002). Those in search of a portable book for outdoor identification might consider Catherine Howell's Backyard Wilderness (National Geographic, 2003).—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
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“In brief text and lavishly colorful illustrations, Ruurs and Broda demonstrate the diverse abundance of wildlife that frequents our backyards…Ruurs’ new book reflects her admirable desire to help children learn to appreciate the majesty of their natural surrounds…Recommended.”
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