Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature's Footprints

Jim Arnosky (Author)
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When children learn to recognize and read animal tracks they're actually mastering an ancient language of shapes and patterns--and gaining knowledge of the natural world. Acclaimed artist and naturalist Jim Arnosky has created a breathtaking and informative reference on the subject, filled with intricately drawn prints from creatures both wild and domestic, as well as large-scale paintings of the animals in their environment. Some of the art, labeled in Arnosky's own handwriting, even looks as if it came straight out of his personal notebooks. And best of all, many of the tracks are true to size, so kids can compare the trace left by a big-footed polar bear (whose paws act as snowshoes in its icy home) with that of a small bird. Adding to the eye-catching illustrations are four awesome gatefolds that display paintings of a bobcat, wolf, deer, and a variety of hoofed animals right next to their prints. Every spread has plenty of details on how to interpret the footprint, and the featured menagerie includes bighorn sheep and goats, chipmunks and rabbits, grizzlies and brown bears, horses and burros, domestic cats and dogs, and even slithering reptiles! This is the perfect gift for a budding naturalist, animal lover, or artist.
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.

Product Details

$14.95  $13.75
Publish Date
April 01, 2008
9.45 X 0.91 X 11.73 inches | 1.14 pounds

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About the Author

Jim Arnosky won the Eva L. Gordon Award for his outstanding children's science literature and the Christopher Award for his classic work, Drawing from Nature. As School Library Journal says, "Nobody captures nature's whims and wiles better than Jim Arnosky." There are eleven books in the popular series of Crinkleroot nature guides. Mr. Arnosky lives in South Reygate, Vermont.


*"This is a splendid example of Arnosky's skill at making natural history come alive for young readers." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "...a terrific beginning field guide...the uniformly lovely illustrations and the compelling concept make this a book that young naturalists will enjoy year-round." --Booklist *"Arnosky's infectious enthusiasm for nature is evident...The author invites readers to notice the variations among the tracks of different animals native to North America and the ways that the tracks of individual species can change and fool us. Readers learn that bears walking on slippery surfaces splay their toes so that their tracks give the impression of a larger animal. Arnosky lets children in on these insiders' tips with the amiable tone of a knowledgeable guide. Three kinds of illustrations support the text. The left side of each spread displays one of the artist's signature paintings with a colorful setting backing up a precisely rendered animal. Pencil sketches of rows of tracks with measurements hint at the notebook he keeps (and surely hopes that his young readers will keep as well). Finally, life-size paintings of indented prints serve as a guide for readers lucky enough to find an animal track for comparison. Four fold-out pages add to the appeal of the book as a package...this new entry is worthy of purchase for its inviting format and its promising premise that kids can find tracks, interpret them, and have a great time outdoors." --School Library Journal, starred review

2009 ALA Notable
Named to 2008 School Library Journal's Best Books of the Year List
Winner of the 2008 ASPCA(R) Henry Bergh Children's Book Award in the Nonfiction Environment and Ecology category