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I Was Born in a Tree and Raised by Bees (1977)

av Jim Arnosky

Serier: Crinkleroot (1)

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2392113,359 (4.31)Ingen/inga
Observations by one forest dweller of the plants and animals that surround him.
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Prolific picture-book naturalist Jim Arnosky, the author and illustrator of almost 150 titles for young people, made his debut in 1977, with this charming guide to the animals of the forest. This was the introduction to Crinkleroot, a grandfatherly guide to the wonders of the natural world who would go on to appear in many other books. Born in a tree and raised by bees, he could "whistle in a hundred languages and speak caterpillar, turtle, and salamander too!" Living in a tiny cabin in the forest, Crinkleroot introduces his readers to the activities of various animals, in the four seasons. From the bees of spring to the toads of summer, the owls of autumn to the birds of winter, he highlights many different kinds of creature, as well as larger events - such as the turning of the leaves in autumn - in the natural world. A few craft ideas are also included, from making a homemade book of various leaf varieties, to creating a bird feeder for the winter. The book closes with the following exhortation:

"Remember, there are pictures everywhere, puzzles hidden among the leaves and in the streams, and stories written on the snow. So keep your eyes open and your nose poked out, and someday you may be talking caterpillar, turtle, and salamander too!"

First published the year after I was born, and then revised in this 1988 edition with updated illustrations, I Was Born in a Tree and Raised by Bees is an absolutely delightful and charming book, one I regret not having growing up with. It is both educational and entertaining, offering a glimpse into the wildlife of a northern forest in all four seasons, and a personable guide to that wildlife who is completely endearing. I would love to know more about Crinkleroot himself - is he an elf? a forest creature? or just a man raised by the wild? Is he meant to be Arnosky? The afterword here mentions that Arnosky created the book while living at Hawk Mountain, in Pennsylvania, and it seems to encapsulate all the love of the natural world and its many inhabitants that would go on to characterize his work. The artwork here is every bit as appealing as the text, and is done in a different style from the more recent, watercolor illustrations I have seen from Arnosky. In the original edition, the illustrations were all black and white, with two-tone color enhancements. Here they alternate between black and white, and fully colored, managing to be completely enchanting in both cases.

All in all, an absolutely wonderful book, one I would recommend to all young nature and animal lovers, and to anyone who enjoys hiking in the forest. As someone who loved all of those things as a girl, someone whose first summer job involved clearing and maintaining forest trails in my county's park system, I wish I had known about this book and its many sequels when I was younger. Still, I have discovered them now, thanks to a kind goodreads friend - many thanks, Kathryn! - who noticed I was reading a great deal of Arnosky, and recommended the Crinkleroot books, and I hope to read many more!

Note: In 1999, this was republished as Crinkleroot's Nature Almanac, with essentially the same content. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Aug 3, 2020 |
A great book that introduces nature by the seasons of the year to it's readers. The reading includes puzzles, hidden pictures, quizzes, and activities. The writing is easy to understand. The pages that tell the reader how to build a bird feeder from a cardboard milk/juice carton could also be incorporated into a math lesson concerning measurement. The one carton that must be cut would allow the students to use a ruler to measure where it needed to be cut. ( )
  kratzerliz23 | Feb 26, 2012 |
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