Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature’s Footprints / written & Illustrated by Jim Arnosky. 1.11.2016

Sterling Children’s Books ISBN 9781454914723

PRI Grades 3-6 Rating: 5

Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature’s Footprints by Jim Arnosky is the 100th book that he has written and illustrated. His contribution to children’s literature is affirmed in the lifetime achievement award for Excellence in Science Illustration from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award for nonfiction. Wild Tracks! Is an ALA Notable Book.

Arnosky shows animals making tracks in their natural habitats and dozens of wild animal footprints, including fold-outs that illustrate the life-size tracks of the deer, other hoofed animals, felines, and canines. Through intricately drawn prints from creatures both wild and domestic, children learn to recognize and read animal tracks via shapes and patterns, gaining an appreciation of the natural world. Some of the art labels in his own handwriting create the impression of coming out of his personal notebooks. The gatefolds offer a painting of the animal right next to their prints. It is easy for children to identify the footprints and the wide variety of animals, including bighorn sheep and goats, grizzlies and brown bears, chipmunks and rabbits, horses and burros, domestic cats and dogs, and reptiles.

The quality of Arnosky’s work makes it wise to note that his other works include Slither and Crawl: Eye to Eye with Reptiles, Thunder Birds: Nature’s Flying Predators, Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders, and Shimmer & Splash: The Sparkling World of Sea Life.

Leroy Hommerding, CLJ