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Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story Hardcover – March 15, 2017
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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Slade and Lanan bring the biography of scientist Anna Comstock to young readers. A true story about an early champion of nature education, this beautifully illustrated watercolor picture book introduces young readers to Anna Botsford Comstock, a white woman born in 1854. ... She attended Cornell University to study entomology and also honed her artistic craft in drawing insects. Anna Comstock insisted that New York state integrate nature study into classroom lessons and allow children to experience nature while in school. ... Quotes from her writing augment the illustrations in a complementary display type. The informative backmatter fills in more details about the life and accomplishments of this naturalist, writer, scholar, and forward-thinking female pioneer. An inspirational must-read for budding scientists and those who teach them. (notes, bibliography) (Picture book. 5-8) [Starred Review] --Kirkus Reviews
Quotations from Comstock are sprinkled throughout, accompanied by Slade's gentle narration: Anna believed that children should experience nature too. They needed to hold it close in their fingers, feel it squish between their toes. It's a lovely tribute to a pioneering educator. --Publisher Weekly
Though not many will be familiar with Comstock, her story is told with such warmth and admiration that people will be rooting for her the entire time. Lanan's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are done with loving attention to detail; young nature lovers in particularly might delight in the close-up details on different bugs. This sweet biography is perfect for fans of Patrick McDonnell s Me . . . Jane (2011), or any child who relishes the feeling of mud squishing between their toes. --Booklist
About the Author
Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of more than 100 books for children.
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I wish it was clearer that the insect anatomy she drew and described was some of her own original, award-winning work and not something she just learned and regurgitated from college. I also wish the book was better focused on a theme of her work instead of just being a timeline: she liked nature, shew drew insects, she went to college, she made prints, she then worked with education, and then she worked for conservation.
I don't think the age range for this book is appropriate. Instead of 1st - 4th grade, I'd put it at 3rd - 6th grade.
An amazing story about an amazing woman. I looked up some samples of Comstock's illustrations after finishing this. They are truly gorgeous. Some of them look like photographs. I'd never heard of this woman before, but I definitely appreciate the ways she made an impact in this world. In my days of teaching science I most loved the forays out of the classroom into the wild with students, and so I'm especially appreciative of how Comstock paved the way for that to be a recognized successful science teaching method. A fantastic addition to any library or collection, especially recommended for young nature lovers or those who may stay inside too much (perhaps this will coax them outside a little more often).