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Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre and His World of Insects Hardcover – May 12, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—This enchanting picture book biography examines the life and work of 19th-century French entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre. Fairy tale-like in tone, the first few pages will easily draw in children, as Smith describes the actions of an old hermit who was considered a local eccentric by those in his village for his habit of speaking to animals and collecting insects ("Whether he was a sorcerer, or simply a madman, no one could agree."). The villagers were shocked, however, when Fabre received a visit from the president of France. Readers are then taken back in time to learn about Fabre's childhood, education, and ever-present interest in the natural world, as well as his unconventional teaching and writings on insect behavior. Indeed, he often shocked fellow scientists with his bizarre findings. Smith's engaging text conveys Fabre's zeal for his subject, while Ferri's gorgeously detailed watercolor and pencil illustrations of plant life and insects beg readers to stop and look both at the pages as well as at the natural world around them. Historical and author's notes and a useful time line add further context. VERDICT A must-have.—Jennifer Wolf, Beaverton City Library, OR
“The distinctive, enduring affection with which [Jean-Henri Fabre] regarded his diminutive subjects regardless of their often savage behavior comes through clearly here, both in Smith's warm narrative and Ferri's equally engaging views of the naturalist.” —Kirkus Review (starred review)
“First-time author Smith offers a rewarding overview of naturalist Jean-Henri Fabre…[a] rousing tribute to the rewards of following one’s passions.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This enchanting picture book biography examines the life and work of 19th-century French entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre. Fairy tale–like in tone, the first few pages will easily draw in children… A must-have.” —School Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Small Wonders is, itself, a small wonder. A captivating and word perfect exploration of an extraordinary man, written in clear and wonder-filled prose, beautifully, thoughtfully illustrated. A rare pleasure." —Tim Wynne-Jones, author of Blink & Caution
"E. O. Wilson famously said 'small things rule the world.' Trouble is, few of us bother to understand the small creatures that share the earth with us. Here, at last, is the true story of an important exception: Jean Henri Fabre. Curious about insects and their behavior, Fabre refused to study insects as dead specimens. Instead, he dedicated his life to observing their behavior in their natural habitats. Fabre's fascinating discoveries come to life in the lively text and lush watercolors of Small Wonders.Together, they create an illuminating portrait of a little known scientific pioneer who changed the way we look at the natural world around us." —Phillip Hoose, author of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
"Small Wonders is a big marvel, a rare ray of light. It's a great story well told and superbly illustrated, carefully crafted from what's real. Hurrah!" —Bernd Heinrich, author of The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration
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Good job and maybe make its little bit longer if you please. Bye.