Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jim Arnosky :: Summer Author Binge

(Summertime Author Binge-ing on Jim Arnsoky)

Yesterday I wrote about our practice of author binge-ing during the summer and shared some of our favorite books by Dahlov Ipcar.   In June we also enjoyed tons and tons (ok , more like tens and tens) of books by author/illustrator Jim Arnosky.  So today I'll share my thoughts on Arnosky with you :)  

Jim Arnosky is a self-taught artist and naturalist who has combined his interests and talents to write informative, beautiful, and engaging books for children.  It's clear that he has a passion for sharing his love nature with young people.  And my kids love the way in which he does it.  He's written over 100 books for children, so it's likely that your library will have a very large and wonderful selection of his work for you to check out.

Many of his books are delightfully story-like while still conveying plenty of information about a subject - a particular animal or animal group, habitat, or event.  The stories my kids love best are the ones in which he describes an event he watched unfold while out in nature.   Some of our favorites like this are

(this is my personal favorite!)

Several of his books I love because they're written very simply with large font and words suitable for beginning readers.  When my oldest was still practicing early reading, I'd ask him to read these books to the younger kids for "science class."  While the words are simple, the stories are still enjoyable and the illustrations (mostly colored pencil artwork) are beautiful!





Arnosky also has a series of informational books that we like quite a bit.  Animals in the "All About..." series include rattlesnakes, sharks, lizards, manatees, turkeys, turtles, frogs, alligators, owls, and more.  We've enjoyed several of these... they make great lunchtime reading material :)

Finally -- and it's not really finally, because he has so written so much more but I just can't cover it all here --  Jim Arnosky has a series of books for young naturalists in which topics are presented by a a character called Crinkleroot.  These books cover a wide variety of topics such as tracking, identifying animals tracks, identifying common animals and trees, understanding habitats, and how to make the most of a nature walk.  For older children and adults that are interested in learning more about drawing from nature, Arnosky also has books on sketching - Sketching Outdoors in Summer (and other titles that cover autumn, winter, and spring.)  

My kids and I all love Arnosky's books.  They are a perfect blend of lovingly detailed artwork, engaging stories, and information about the natural world.  As I said, an Arnosky study is easy to pull off because he's written and illustrated so gosh darn much!  I bet you'll be able to find a lot of the library.  Enjoy!

Do you have any Arnosky favorites?  


  1. These posts are so great Theresa! You're making my summer library trips so easy!

    1. yay! So happy to help! I love when I get great book recommendations and I don't mind sharing our favorites :)

  2. Love this idea of author -bingeing. I do it myself, frequently, mostly on Fr. Cantalamessa books!

    1. I used to do it with books for myself also, but these days I feel like I'm continually reading picture books and pre-viewing readers and chapter books for the kids :)

  3. I just requested 5 of them from the library. They will be wonderful for our trip to the Adirondacks next week. 6 days without cellphone service or internet :-/

    Thanks for the suggestions! Often when I go to get books from the library, the librarian tries to give me your books since the piles are next to each other but I don't take them. Sometimes I think I should.

    1. Haha! I hope they don't give you a hard time at the library on my account... I'm always ordering huge amounts of books, some of the workers roll their eyes when they see my come in ;)
      Hope you have a fun vacation! It sounds so nice to be "unplugged" for a week!


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