- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: DK; 1 edition (May 17, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0756658993
- ISBN-13: 978-0756658991
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Practical Naturalist Paperback – May 17, 2010
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About the Author
Chris Packham has had a passion for wildlife and natural history from a young age. He studied Zoology at Southampton University, England, and is an accomplished wildlife photographer and cameraman. He has explored many habitats worldwide, from the Arctic to the rainforest. He has produced and hosted many wildlife programs for channels including National Geographic, Discovery, and BBC.
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Top Customer Reviews
DK's very first project was a work almostidentical to this. It was the late Gerald Durrell's 'A Practical Guide for the Amatuer Naturalist'--a book I fell hopelessly in love with as a teen and was only recently able to find a NEW COPY OF IT! So I can't completely resist the temptation of judging this book by the standards set by Gerald Durrell's 'Amateur Naturalist' because this was one of DK's very first publishing projects.
LAYOUT: Now, this book resemble's Durrell's book in many respects but publishing technology has advanced MUCH since 1983 and this book's layout is simply wonderful. DK and Audubon have done an amazing job of throughly squeezing as much information onto each page as possible without the results appearing junked or confusing to the eyes.
TEXT: Here's were we run into several problems. They're NOT devestating short-comings that would cause me to warn others not to purchase this publication. These are petty faults that left me personally dissappointed based on DK's experience with Gerald Durrell. The Practical Naturalist pretty much covers all of the major areas that should be familiar to an amateur naturalist. Such subjects as:
**Farm and Field
**Coast (Beaches/Cliffs/Coastal Wetlands/Ocean)
The problem was DK's and Audubon's rushed treatment of each subject area. There was no real exploration of any of the major subjects appearig in this book. You simply get a glossed briefing on a lot of INTERESTING information for each major subject area that the publishers were trying to STUFF into this book.
COPY: Considering that both DK and Audubon are by NO MEANS AMATEURS at what they do they allowed way too many typos to slide by for me NOT to make mention of it. This book also needs more editing because several times throughout this publication certain pieces of information or phrases are repeated far too many times.
SUMMARY: This book was RUSHED. If this book did not have to contend with a 'IT HAS TO BE DONE BY SUCH-AND-SUCH DATE NO MATTER WHAT' it could have been a top of the line publication in this genera. It needs more editing and a book of this nature is simply NAKED without a good biblography--and there is none. Nor does this book provide any information on further suggested reading or a list of organizations that may be of interest to someone interested in the SCIENCE of studying and observing nature.
For $13.99 this book is still a decent buy. And if you can get a copy of Gerald Durrell's book. I don't agree with everything I read BUT it's still one of the best in this genera.
While this is not particularly a book about collecting outdoors artifacts, to later inspect, as a naturalist would-- it is indeed a great guide for pre-teens and teenagers to explore their outdoor environs. The design and layout of the book are sophisticated, and the images are all clear, and relevant to the text. The 'sideways' spread pages are a little awkward, but I can see they were trying to interest youngsters, rather than adults.
I have included some pictures. This would make an excellent textbook for nature walks and homeschoolers, as well.
One of the cons being that the paper is heavy, and I can already hear the binding creaking as I wish to open a page to view a spread. Handle with care, and it should last.
I gave it four stars only because I found the title a teensy bit misleading. This is not "a practical guide on how to become a naturalist," which is more what I expected. I also found, as another reviewer commented, the text to be a bit light. It depends, however, on what you know. If you're a field guide reader, like me, you're going to find that you know much of what is presented. However, for an older child interested in getting started learning about nature, this is a great place to start. And may I say again, it is a completely beautifully made book.