current issue web exclusives blog multimedia archive subscribe advertisers
Feature Articles
Editor's Note
Audubon View
Letters
Field Notes
Green Guru
Audubon Living
Journal
True Nature
Earth Almanac
Reviews
One Picture
Nature Books for Kids

Redwoods
By Jason Chin
Roaring Brook Press, 40 pages, $16.95 (Ages 4–8)

Upon opening a book on redwoods that he finds abandoned on the subway, a boy is transported into an old-growth forest in California where huge trees soar 200 feet high. Each page of Redwoods sends the nameless boy deeper into the woods as his imagination breathes life into the words, conjuring scenes that help him understand redwood ecosystems. When he learns that scientists study the trees by climbing their branches, he dreams up a rope and crossbow to launch himself into the canopy. There he finds flying squirrels, salamanders, and an aviary of bird species, including the marbled murrelet and northern spotted owl, which “live almost exclusively in the oldest redwood trees and are both endangered species.” Painted with watercolors in soft but colorful tones, Jason Chin’s delightful illustrations lend an aura of mystery to the arboreal giants towering around his curious, awed protagonist, enticing other kids to join in and marvel.—Julie Leibach
Back to Top

 

Down, Down, Down
By Steve Jenkins
Houghton Mifflin, 40 pages, $17 (Ages 5–8)

Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Steve Jenkins voyages to the ocean floor in Down, Down, Down, exploring a potpourri of sea creatures, from surface dwellers to those that inhabit the 36,000-foot-deep Marianas Trench. Each page is a piece of art, adorned with Jenkins’s signature paper collages, which he shapes into realistic representations of marine animals. Swimming in sun-kissed turquoise waters, shrimplike krill drift amid wide-eyed mackerel. Farther down in the “twilight zone,” the wormy tendrils of siphonophores dangle like scraggly boa feathers, then shine like a constellation in a burst of bioluminescence. The text is full of factual nuggets, and a glossary offers further details on the animals. “Just about every time humans venture into the deep ocean, they discover new and unexpected animals,” Jenkins writes. In highlighting a few, he leaves room for kids to investigate where Down, Down, Down leaves off.—Julie Leibach
Back to Top

Back to Reviews