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Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature's Footprints Hardcover – April 4, 2008
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Jim Arnosky has been honored for his overall contribution to literature for children by the Eva L. Gordon Award and the Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award for nonfiction. Many of his books have been chosen as ALA Notable Books, including Drawing from Nature, a Christopher Award-winner. Wild Tracks! is Jim’s 100th book for children.
Top customer reviews
It's great fun for anyone looking for adventure in the woods.
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. He certainly has no desire to confront you; BUT, 'Canine Tracks' will help you to know if he's visiting. In my neighborhood, coyotes mean cats stay indoors or on the roof at night. It's nice to know whether it's safe for cats and small dogs to be out at night.
In brief, a fabulous book. Someone should have thought of this "life size" idea a hundred years ago. You'd think Hugh Hefner, who invented the centerfold, would have figured out the impact of "life size" for his magazine. Instead, it's here in a book that is really useful.
Aronsky is an original and gifted artist. This book is a gem.