“This book is a solid introduction to Louisiana’s natural history, written in the folksy vernacular that is C. C.’s trademark and illustrated by his sensational photographs. The visual power of the volume makes young readers want to keep turning the pages and returning to them, and the information, disarmingly conveyed as it is, amounts to a sound scientific basis that will stay with them for life.” —Robert A. Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Environmental Education and Director of the Louisiana Nature and Science Center, from his Foreword
To venture into C. C. Lockwood’s Louisiana Nature Guide is to take a field trip through the state while remaining indoors. Lockwood’s whimsical, knowing narration and beautiful, enchanting photographs will, however, irresistibly lure readers outdoors — even if no farther than the backyard. The nature bug will bite recluse and explorer alike.
Twenty-nine brief sections pique readers’ curiosity about topics such as geological periods, plant and animal classification, mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, animal behavior, habitats, endangered species, pollution, backyard wildlife, nature-related careers, and camping. The book is chock-full of tidbits about Louisiana (only five other states have more species of birds), anecdotes from Lockwood’s own experiences (he camps out about a hundred days each year), questions to ponder (“Do you think the inventor of Velcro got his idea from the cocklebur?”), and creative suggestions for observing nature (coat a pine cone with peanut butter and sunflower seeds and watch a squirrel figure out how to eat it) — making this guide as entertaining as it is educational. Three concluding sections include a variety of welcome additional information: supplies to pack for outdoor trips, nature places to visit in Louisiana — from zoos to state parks to swamps — and organizations readers can contact to learn more about nature, help protect the environment, or take classes or field trips.
As to be expected of any print from the camera of C. C. Lockwood, the 250 color photographs bedazzle. Lockwood captures the irrepressible glee, curiosity, amazement, and affection that animate the faces of youngsters cuddling a nutria, surveying the tracks of a black bear, or fingering a baby alligator. His breathtaking shots of nature in solitude — the changing seasons mirrored in a mud flat, bayou, and fresh marsh; a great egret preening his snowy plumes; a montage of Louisiana’s official state animals, plants, and minerals — will astound and delight readers again and again.
Reflected in both text and photographs are a profound respect for nature and a gentle encouragement to protect the environment. Renowned for wildlife photography, Lockwood combines here his flawless artistry and own childlike exuberance with solid scientific information to present a unique gift to the children of the Pelican State. Geared primarily toward eight- to twelve-year-olds, the guide is also suitable for bright younger children and older youth. (It’s no secret that many adults, too, will find in the book a sweet release from their usually enclosed habitats and some excellent ideas for activities with the kids.)
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