Topic: Naturalists & Their Work

  Among the Orangutans: The Birute Galdikas Story

by Evelyn Gallardo

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

Tracing the life of Birute Galdikas from her childhood fascination with orangutans to her renown research of these primates in Indonesia, this photobiography provides insights into the fieldwork involved in primate studies as well as the unique contribution of Galdikas' research into orangutan behavior. Along with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Galdikas was one of three researchers directed by Louis Leakey to undertake studies of the great apes. Descriptions of Galdikas' experiences in the remote tropical rain forests of Borneo, her observations of the social interactions and behavior of orangutans and her caring for orphaned orangutans are complemented by color photographs of Galdikas and her family as well as of orangutans in the wild. A personal note from Galdikas follows the text as well as information about organizations working to conserve the endangered orangutans.

Visit: www.orangutan.org

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Bird Watching with Margaret Morse Nice

by Michael Elsohn Ross

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Field Guides & Activity Books 

As part of the Naturalist's Apprentice Series, the biography of the ornithologist Margaret Morse Nice is an inspiring book describing her lifelong interest in the study of birds, their vocalizations and behavior. In spite of the prejudices against women at the turn of the century, Nice combined the responsibilities of motherhood with her scientific pursuits. Considered the founder of ethology, the study of animal behavior, Nice contributed to the scientific research of birds, in particular the study of song sparrows, published numerous writings and also crusaded in conserving nature. Insets throughout the books suggest a variety of activities for children on watching birds, the use of field equipment as well as descriptions of common bird species that complement the textual descriptions of Nice's research.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Bug Watching with Charles Henry Turner

by Michael Elsohn Ross

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Field Guides & Activity Books 

An inspiring biographical account of the life of entomologist, Charles Henry Turner, his distinguished contributions to the scientific knowledge of insects and spiders as well as the difficulties he encountered as an Afro-American scientist around the turn of the century are presented in this biography of the Naturalist's Apprentice Series. Insets with suggestions for projects and field studies of bees, spiders and ants complement clear, informative descriptions of Turner's research.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  The Chimpanzee Family Book

by Jane Goodall

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

Following a mother and baby of a troop of chimpanzees for one day in the forest of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, where she has based her renown research of chimpanzees, Jane Goodall presents her observations, both personal and factual, of the behavior and social structure of these animals in the wild. Numerous large close-up photographs of the individual chimps and the forest habitat complement the text to show young children the family life, the intimacy, the varied expressions, playfulness and range of social interactions of these amazing mammals that are closely related to humans. Young readers are shown the patience and study required to understand animals in the wild and also the deep respect, interest and care that Goodall holds for the chimpanzees.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  The Chimpanzees I Love: Saving their World and Ours

by Jane Goodall

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

This inspiring account of Jane Goodall's scientific work with chimpanzees and her devoted efforts to promote conservation provides young readers a historical context for Goodall's research, narratives of the author's field work in Tanzania's Gombe National Park, as well as fascinating scientific observations of chimp behavior, communication and society. The text is accompanied by vintage photographs of Goodall's youth as well as dozens of color close-ups of the scientist and the chimpanzees in their habitat, documenting forty years of groundbreaking research at Gombe. All of the author's proceeds from the sale of this book is donated in support of Roots & Shoots, the global children's educational program of the Jane Goodall Institute.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Dive!: My Adventures in the Deep Frontier

by Sylvia A. Earle

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Naturalists & Their Work 

With admiration, caring and reverence, marine biologist Sylvia Earle presents the underwater world with its creatures, including her personal experiences with both plant and animal life in the ocean depths. This stunning photoessay takes readers into the ocean to encounter humpback whales and dolphins as well as the inhabitants of the coral reefs. Earle describes the uses of technology to develop diving suits and submersibles used to explore the unknown areas of the deep. Using state-of the-art equipment and photography, Earle immerses readers into her field research of the wide diversity of life in the depths of the fascinating underwater realm.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Flower Watching with Alice Eastwood

by Michael Elsohn Ross

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Young botanists will be inspired by the biography of the self-taught botanist Alice Eastwood, her work as a curator at the California Academy of Sciences, her conservation efforts, her observations about the positive effects of natural fires as well as the descriptions of her research of wildflowers set primarily in the landscapes of Colorado and California at the turn of the century. This biography as part of the Naturalist's Apprentice Series also includes projects and field studies that complement Eastwood's own research.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Girls Who Looked Under Rocks

by Jeannine Atkins

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work

Girls Who Looked under Rocks portrays the curiosity, determination and enthusiasm of six women, who as girls "didnít run from spiders or snakes, but crouched down to take a closer look, " and, who later grew up to become award-winning scientists, artists and writers. Going back as far as the seventeenth century, Atkinís selection of six interesting biographies includes: Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), who traveled to South America to study and paint the interrelationship of insects and plants; Anna Comstock (1854-1930), an entomologist, who was the first female professor at Cornell and helped start a movement of nature study in schools; Frances Hamerstrom (1907-1998), one of the first field biologists who studied prairie wildlife of the Midwest; Mirian Rothschild (1908- ), an entomologist, renown for her research on fleas as well as butterfly gardens; Rachel Carson (1907-1964), writer and scientist whose best-selling book Silent Spring described the importance of maintaining the delicate balance of nature; and, Jane Goodall (1934- ), world-renown chimpanzee expert who is also committed to helping people consider other lives with compassion. The fascinating profiles of these dedicated, pioneering women can be a source of inspiration, especially for girls, to follow their lead.

(Miriam Rothschild died on January 20, 2005 at the age of 96.)

See also:
Evelyn Gallardo's Among the Orangutans: The Birute Galdikas Story
Jane Goodall's My Life with the Chimpanzees
Tom Mathews' Light Shining Through the Mist: A Photobiography of Dian Fossey
Amy Ehrlich's Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson
Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, an amusing picture book about Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall who, during the 1890ís in reaction to the latest women's fashion of adorning hats with whole dead birds, started the Massachusetts Audubon Society to protect birds.

      Grades: 4th to 10th

  Henry David's House

by Thoreau; edited by Steven Schnur

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

An inspiring selection of excerpts from Henry David Thoreauís Walden enhanced by full-page impressionistic paintings together create the world of Thoreau during his stay at Walden Pond and depict the beauty of the natural setting at the pond. Thoreauís own words Ė descriptions of the building of the cabin, the sparse selection of furnishings in his abode, his observations of nature in the rustic surroundings as the seasons cycle throughout a year -- highlight his belief in the inherent value of living life simply in harmony with nature. The "Editorís Note" following the text provides supplementary information about Thoreauís writing of Walden and the extent of the influence of his ideas.

        Grades: 3rd & up

  Henry Works

by D.B. Johnson

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

Henry Works is the fourth childrenís picture book by DB Johnson inspired by the life and writings of Henry David Thoreau that centers on the adventures of Henry the bear, modeled after Thoreau and the writings in Walden. In the morning mist Henry sets out from his cabin "walking to work" and en route to his destination as he passes through woods, fields and the town of Concord, he tends to nature and helps out his friends Ė delivering a letter to his friend Emerson, planting strawberries in Hawthorne's garden, watering wildflowers, marking paths, placing crossing stones in a stream and relocating pesky woodchucks. By the end of the day he has reached his destination -- back at his cabin where he begins his work of writing Walden.

The four books by author and artist Johnson are each based upon a passage of Thoreauís writing which the author includes at the end of each book along with relevant biographical information about Thoreau. The exquisite artwork of colored pencil and paint comprised of geometric shapes and skewed perspectives picture the amusing adventures of Henry the bear, dressed in a farm hat and overcoat. The first of the books, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (ISBN: 0395968674) contrasts two different methods of traveling to exemplify contrasting approaches to life. The veneration of the simple lifestyle is also portrayed in Johnsonís third book, Henry Builds a Cabin (ISBN: 0618132015) which depicts the frugality and simplicity of Thoreauís cabin at Walden Pond. Thoreauís philosophy of civil disobedience and his opposition to slavery are introduced in Henry Climbs a Mountain (ISBN: 0618269029). All four of Johnsonís books provide an engrossing introduction for young readers into the life and ideas of one of Americaís greatest 19th century figures.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  How Monkeys Make Chocolate

by Adrian Forsyth

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Habitats & Ecosystems 

"In this book Adrian Forsyth takes us to many of the world's rain forests and explores how their animals and people use the forest every day for food and for medicine. " Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Spring 1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Into the Woods: John James Audubon Lives His Dream

by Robert Burleigh

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Birds

"Who can imagine my dear countryís dark woods, its great forests, its vast Atlantic bays, its thousands of streams, lakes, and magnificent rivers? I wish that I could draw it all! " Quotes from the journal of John J. Audubon, naturalist and artist, complement an imaginary letter to his father explaining his decision to abandon a life in commerce and instead pursue his dream to study and draw nature. The narrative and images portray Audubonís enthusiasm, respect and admiration for the natural world, especially birds. Minorís stunning, lyrical watercolors, depicting Audubon observing and painting birds in the wilderness, evoke the beauty of the 19th century American landscape. Several of Audubonís paintings of birds -- swallow, cardinal, cormorant, hawk, duck, dove and warbler --exemplify the vivid, detailed execution of the artist's work. Into the Woods is a moving, poetic tribute to one of Americaís great naturalists.

See also:
Jennifer Armstrong's Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier to learn about the life and adventures of Audubon
Jacqueline Davies' The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon to learn about the young Audubon's observations of birds and his use of the technique of banding to study migration
Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, an amusing picture book about Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall who, during the 1890ís in reaction to the latest women's fashion of adorning hats with whole dead birds, started the Massachusetts Audubon Society to protect birds.

To learn more, visit:
National Audubon Society and Audubonís Birds of America

      Grades: 2nd & up

  John Muir (People Who Have Helped the World Series)

by Sally Tolan

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

Published in 1990, John Muir: Naturalist, Writer and Guardian of the North American Wilderness is an excellent biography for older children about the founder of the Sierra Club who, as an early proponent of wilderness preservation, was influential in establishing America's national park system. Numerous photographs as well as quotes about and by Muir that are interspersed alongside the informative text together provide a comprehensive insight into the life, ideas and legacy of one of Americaís most renown preservationists.

        Grades: 5th & up

  John Muir: America's Naturalist

by Thomas Locker

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

In the foreword to this picture book by Thomas Locker, Dr. Wayburn of the Sierra Club writes, "This book brings John Muir to all readers, both the young and the young at heart. " Focusing primarily, both in imagery and text, on the Yosemite years, this introductory biography provides a brief overview of the life of the American naturalist who, through his preservation work and influential writings, "changed the way many people think about the natural world". Lockerís landscapes reflect the beauty of the world Muir fought to protect, whereas the selection of quotes from his writings acquaint readers with Muir's views about Nature.

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  John Muir: My Life with Nature

by Joseph Cornell

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

In his introduction to this unique "autobiography" of John Muir, Joseph Cornell writes: "To stay true to the spirit of Muir as clearly and fully as possible, I have told his story as if he were alive, using his own words and colorful expressions as often as possible." Although Cornell simplified some words to make this introductory biography more accessible to young readers, the selection of Muirís quotes, complemented by black and white photos and illustrations, convey the enthusiastic spirit, adventures and ideas of this renown preservationist that can be also appreciated by adults. Cornell, a leading nature educator who is author of Sharing Nature with Children, also includes a selection of thoughtful and engaging activities for children to experience life and the natural world, inspired by Muirís perspective.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Light Shining Through the Mist

by Tom L. Matthews

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

The inspiring life and work of Dian Fossey is presented in this fascinating photobiography that centers on her field studies of the mountain gorillas in the Virunga area of central Africa and her controversial conservation efforts to preserve these primates. Stunning photographs of Fossey in the field interacting with gorillas, close-ups of these primates in the wild, and images of Fossey at work in her camp complement the text that follows Fossey's early fascination with Africa, her association with Louis Leakey, her experiences in the war-torn Congo and then in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park where she established the renown Karisoke Research Center. While caring for two orphaned infant gorillas, Fossey learned their vocalizations which she then used to interact more closely with gorillas in the field studying their behavior and social interactions. Her "active conservation" efforts against poachers and direct involvement in preserving the gorillas' habitat created much controversy and animosity against her work -- in 1985 she was found murdered in Karisoke. A bibliography listing her articles and books follows the text as well as weblinks to sites of information about primates and wildlife conservation efforts.

      Grades: All

  The Most Beautiful Roof in the World

by Kathryn Lasky

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Habitats & Ecosystems 

"High above the shadowy rainforest floor, scientist Meg Lowman and her young sons climb through the brilliant and vivid world of the rain forest canopy -- a timeless world, home to thousands of plants, a world that until recently humans could only dream of. . . . (It) shows how an ethnobotanist would climb into the forest canopy, collect plant specimens and tag, label, preserve and catalogue them." Excerpt of review in Nature's Course (Spring 1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 3rd to 7th

  My Life with the Chimpanzees

by Jane Goodall

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This book is a fascinating autobiographical account by the famous ethologist, a scientist who studies animal behavior, of her childhood fascination with animals that developed later into her renown research of chimpanzees. In engrossing, lucid and direct prose, Goodall describes her association with anthropologist Louis Leakey, the events leading to her journey to Africa, her encounters in the forests of Tanzania with African wildlife and her field observations of chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, noting their behavior, social structure, intelligence and close link to the human species. Expressing her views on a wide range of environmental and conservation issues, Goodall addresses the book directly to young people hopefully encouraging and challenging them to make this a better world for both human and non-human animals.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  My Season with Penguins

by Sophie Webb

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Birds

This is an Antarctic journal, a two-month diary of the artist/biologist Sophie Webb as she tracks the Adelie penguins in their breeding colony during the summer months in Antarctica. The delicate watercolor, gouache and graphite illustrations of the journal and the first-hand descriptions interspersed with scientific information provide an intimate and unforgettable glimpse into the habitat, behavior and antics of the Adelies as well as the experiences of the field scientists studying the ecosystem of these amazing animals.

To learn more visit:
The American Museum of Natural Historyís Antarctica: The Farthest Place Close to Home
Cool Antarcticaís Antarctica Schools Resources


See also:
Kathy Conlan's, Under the Ice,
Meredith Hooper's Antarctic Journal , and
Jennifer Owings Dewey's Antarctic Journal: Four Months at the Bottom of the World

        Grades: 5th & up

  Once a Wolf

by Stephen R. Swinburne

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

" 'Hatred of wolves goes far back in history. As soon as people began raising livestock, wolves became the enemy and the symbol of savagery. In 5,000 B.C., the earliest farmers of Asia killed wolves to protect cattle, sheep and other domestic animals. Aesop, a slave living in Greece around 600 B.C. wrote many stories that painted the wolf as a cunning and greedy beast.' So begins this amazingly comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and compelling book for older elementary children. It is beautifully illustrated with photographs by Jim Brandenburg, one of the world's finest wildlife photographers. ... Brandenburg sets up camp near the wolves until they go about their lives virtually ignoring him and providing us with remarkable and candid views of a wolf's everyday life." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1999) published by CCEL.

Swinburne eloquently presents the wolf of legend and the wolf of fact, tracing the myths that have almost destroyed a species and describing the studies and efforts raised since the 1930's to save the wolf from extinction. Numerous images -- photographs as well as illustrations, some from archives of history -- complement the text bringing to light the preponderant attitudes of humans worldwide towards the wolf as a "beast of waste and desolation" and contrasting the more recent work of conservationists and scientists who have studied the important role of the wolf in the web of life as well as who strive to restore this mammal to its habitat. As part of the "Scientist in the Field" Series, this book also affords an informative perspective for children of the research and field study of scientists involved in restoring the wolf to Yellowstone Park.

        Grades: 5th to 8th

  Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

by Claire A. Nivola

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This is an inspiring picture-book biography of a remarkable woman, Wangari Maathai, who is the founder of the Green Belt Movement and 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. In her native Kenya and throughout the world she has taught many people to plant trees and care for the Earth. The lyrical prose and watercolor illustrations follow Maathai from her childhood when she observed the bountiful landscape of Kenya, through her college years in Kansas where she studied biology, to her return to a transformed homeland where she found the people malnourished and the land cleared of trees, ruined by commercial farming and threatened by desertification. Maathai's relentless courage and determination led to the planting of millions of tress, the restoration and renewal of the land and its people as well as the flourishing of small farms in her native Kenya.

Printed on Recycled Paper.

To learn more, visit: The Green Belt Movement

Join Wangari Maathai in Plant for the Planet Campaign to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year.

See also:
Jeanette Winter's Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa to learn more about Wangari Maathai and the African women who helped her plant trees.

      Grades: 1st to 4th

  Rachel Carson: Preserving a Sense of Wonder

by Joseph Bruchac & Thomas Locker

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

Carsonís lifelong sense of wonder for the natural world unfolds in this lyrical picture book biography by Joseph Bruchac that follows her early fascination of nature as it develops through her life into her writings about the mysteries of the ocean and later into the call for the preservation of the intricate web of life in her book, Silent Spring. The brief, lyrical text is complemented on each facing page by Lockerís luminous, expansive landscapes and seascapes as well as close-ups of wildlife, evoking the sense of wonder of the natural world that Carson valued and sought to preserve. A selection of quotes from Carsonís writings about nature is found in the "Endnotes".

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Rachel Carson: Voice for the Earth

by Ginger Wadsworth

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

Wadsworthís illuminating biography, spanning Carsonís life from her childhood in rural Pennsylvania through her studies and professional career in writing and marine biology, to her popular publications about the sea, and to her final battle with cancer at the time of the controversial publication of Silent Spring, provides a comprehensive insight for older children into the life, personality and work of this eminent environmentalist. Excerpts from her correspondence, lectures and best-selling publications as well as numerous black-and-white photographs offer a deeper understanding of Carsonís early sense of wonder of the natural world, her poetic writing that brought the beauty and mystery of the ocean world to the public, her profound concern of environmental issues, and the historical significance of the publication of Silent Spring.

      Grades: 5th to 9th

  Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson

by Amy Ehrlich

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes 

Highlighting twelve episodes in Carsonís life, Ehrlichís picture book biography sketches the life of the influential writer and scientist, offering glimpses of Carsonís love of the woods, sea and writing, her concern to preserve the intricate web of life and the influence of her writings, in particular Silent Spring. Minorís exquisite full-page watercolor and gouache illustrations add depth to the portrait, complementing the lucid prose through vivid settings, primarily of seascapes of the New England coast.

        Grades: 3rd to 5th

  Under the Ice

by Kathy Conlan

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Marine biologist Kathy Conlan takes readers into the icy depths of the seas under Antarctica to explore the unique environment and creatures who inhabit the region. In this impressive photo-essay that includes biographical, historical and geographical information, Conlan describes her ongoing research on the impact of human pollution on marine life and provides an insight into the rigors and intricacies of her work as a scientist. First-person accounts are also given of her 3-month journey to Antarctica, daily life at the research base of McMurdo Station, several harrowing experiences diving under 6 feet of ice, her fascinating close encounters underwater and over ice with Weddell seals, Adelies and Emperor penguins, her explorations of neon blue ice caves and her trip to the South Pole -- all complemented by stunning color photography. Through Conlanís fascinating account readers can learn about the importance of her research and the unique biodiversity of the remote continent of Antarctica, "that magnificent, frozen world full of fragile beauty."

See also: Mary Cerullo's, Life Under Ice

        Grades: 4th to 8th

  Walking With Henry

by Thomas Locker

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

Readers embark on an imaginary journey with Henry David Thoreau deep into the pathless wilderness as he travels through woods, past waterfalls, onto a mountain and into the midst of a storm, experiencing the sights and sounds of nature and quietly observing the flora and fauna. Lockerís luminous panoramic paintings of the New England scenery and his poetic descriptions of this contemplative journey are complemented at the end of the book by "Thoreau on Wilderness", a selection of quotes from his writings providing readers an insight into the poet-philosopherís reverence for nature.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Wildlife Watching with Charles Eastman

by Michael Elsohn Ross

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Field Guides & Activity Books 

The engrossing biography of Charles Eastman, as part of the Naturalist's Apprentice Series, describes the difficulties that Eastman faced growing up as a Native American, later studying at Dartmouth and Boston University School of Medicine, and then working as a physician and social worker on reservations. His writings, published at the turn of the century and translated into other languages, offer not only a unique perspective of Native American life, but also unveil the respect that the Sioux held for the natural world and their knowledge of nature, in particular of wildlife watching. Insets throughout the book offer information for young naturalists about tracking and observing animals, as well as attracting wildlife to one's community.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  With Love

by Jane Goodall

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

Ten stories of chimpanzees in the wild, recounted by Jane Goodall, whose pioneering work on chimpanzee behavior is world renown, present incidents showing the social interactions between chimpanzees as well as Goodall's intimate knowledge of and personal encounters with individual chimps. David Greybeard, Prof and Pax, Mel and Spindle, Gigi and Freud, Gremlin and Gimble, Flo and Flint become more than names to children as they learn of the personalities and personal experiences of these individual chimps in the wild. Based upon Goodall's experiences with chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania over a period of almost forty years, these engrossing, moving and at times amusing stories with ink-and-watercolor illustrations of the individual chimps present the complexity of their emotions, the affectionate bonding, caring and struggles between and beyond family members and the level of understanding and communication shown by these fascinating primates. Goodall supplements the stories with information about the plight of chimpanzees throughout the world as well as organizations including Roots and Shoots which she founded for young people to improve their world.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th