Monday, April 4, 2011

Reading Our Library- Jim Arnosky

Jim Arnosky writes and illustrates books that focus on animals and the natural world.

His books are beautifully illustrated. I learned from Carrie over at Reading My Library that Jim Arnosky uses a camera to photograph wildlife in action and uses this as a basis for his artwork. His illustrations are gorgeous and full of details. I love simply gazing at them and finding "hidden" animals-- animals that are not the focal point of the story, but happen to be part of the illustrations. Sometimes this captures Jonathan's attention as well, but not always.

This is kind of an odd review post. I tried to pick out some books that I thought would be toddler friendly, but only a couple of the books held Jonathan's attention. I'm guessing that most of these books would be more suitable for preschool and up, and I think we'll revisit them as he gets older.

Rabbit & Raindrops

This was our first Jim Arnosky book, as it appeared on a recommended book list for toddlers. It's a perfect book for Spring! In this book, momma rabbit and her babies leave the nest for the first time. It soon begins to rain and the rabbits must rush back to their nest. Jonathan sat through this story and had fun  spotting other animals as I pointed them out (ants, spiders, birds, etc.)

Grandfather Buffalo

This is a touching story about an older buffalo who usually is at the back of the herd. This ends up being a positive thing, because he comes to the aid of a young calf and its mother. The older buffalo helps keep the young calf safe and remains a valuable part of the herd. Jonathan paid attention through this story and I pointed out some of the animals like snakes and skunks that appeared on the different pages.

Every Autumn Comes the Bear

This story tells about a bear that comes near a local farm to hibernate. It follows the bear as he makes his preparations to hibernate for the winter. The illustrations are warm and detailed. It's a perfect story for Autumn or for a unit on bears. Jonathan didn't focus in on this story at 2 years old,  but I think we may try it again in the fall.

Babies in the Bayou

This is probably my favorite, of all the books we read. It shows all the animals living in a Southern swamp- alligators, raccoons, turtles, ducks. All of these animals are shown under the care of their mothers. The artwork is very soft and soothing and the prose is very rhythmic. Jonathan paid attention a little more easily to this one and I think it'll be another one we repeat in the future.

Jim Arnosky has written over 91 books for cihldren and I think any of them would be wonderful additions to  a science or nature study. While Jonathan is too young right now to appreciate these nature-loving books, I think this is one author we will be revisiting in his preschool years.

Library Links 

Babies in the Bayou
Every Autumn Comes the Bear
Grandfather Buffalo
Rabbits & Raindrops

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