Yesterday I introduced you (to some extent) to the man, Jim Arnosky. Today I would like to introduce you to Crinkleroot, a Arnosky creation. Crinkleroot is "a friend to all the animals" and his main purpose in his bookish life is to introduce children to some basic animals that they should know about. At the beginning of each Crinkleroot book, we meet our guide. The first page spread consists of a letter from Crinkleroot (whose name, by the way, always makes my son laugh) who tells us about the variety of animals that we are about to meet. The remainder of the book is filled with 25 pictures of particular breeds of animals.
For example, in Crinkleroot's 25 Fish Every Child Should Know, we are introduced to the following:
Goldfish, Carp, Sunfish, Bass, Perch, Trout, Minnow, Sucker, Catfish, etc.
Each fish is illustrated to show off their characteristics and only one word appears by each illustration. It is a simple book of identification for children, a first field guide, if you will.
At the beginning of the book there is also a note from the author which I shall copy in full so that he can explain the purpose of these books to you.
"In his Book of Woodcraft the great naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton listed forty birds that he thought every child should know. Though I disagreed with some of his selections, the listing made me think: How many and which birds should every child know? Which fish? Which mammals? What other animals?
The four books in the series CRINKLEROOT'S 100 ANIMALS EVERY CHILD SHOULD KNOW (Crinkleroot's 25 Birds, 25 Fish, 25 Mammals and 25 More Animals) are intended to provide a base of knowledge of the animal kingdom. I hope my selections will make parents and teachers consider, as Mr. Seton's forty birds made me consider, which other animals should be included." - Jim Armosky
These books are, I think, a fabulous introduction to the world of animals. Each book is opened like a story book but then it moves into a picture book format with detailed and yet simplistic illustrations. It is detailed enough to make it really interesting to an adult and to pick out the individual features of any animal, and yet simple enough to appeal to the smaller child. Awesome books. Check out the whole series if you get a chance!
In addition, here are a few more Crinkleroot books. Our library didn't have these but I can assure you that if I ever come across them, I'm snatching them right up!