Saturday, February 23, 2013

Boy Naturalist

Okay folks, I've learned some new things reading the kids' books.  For one, did you know that John James Audubon disproved Aristotle's (and then current) scientific theory that birds don't fly underwater during winter . . . they migrate south.  Now it seems downright silly to even imagine that people used to believe this as truth.  But what is absolutely fascinating to my kids and me is that Audubon disproved the theory while he was a teen.  Not only that, he recognized and copied bird calls and songs when he wasn't even in the "double-digits."

The kids were amazed by other stories of Audubon's life.  In fact, we couldn't get enough of him.  We kept searching for more books and more stories.

If you'd like to read some stories of wanderlust and adventure, you must check out both the childhood and adult stories of John James Audubon.  And then after you've heard the tales of the talented artist / naturalist, check out the books with his very own, intricate bird illustrations.  This has been a delightful exploration week at ReadMeAStory!  I hope your family enjoys the biographies and illustrations as much as we have!

Here are some of our favorites:

Begin with The Boy Who Drew Birds: a story of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies and illustrated by Melissa Sweet (c. 2004), which Sweet beautifully illustrates herself, sometimes copying Audubon's field book, note-taking, sketching perspective.

Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier by Jennifer Armstrong and Jos. A Smith (c. 2003) presents three of our favorite WOW stories in Audubon's adulthood.  This book presents Audubon as more of a Daniel Boone frontiersman and explorer than the other books did.

You may also want to check out:
John Audubon: Young Naturalist by Miriam E Mason and Cathy Morrison (c. 2006) presents a great overview of Audubon's childhood and youth.  I would recommend this book for 2nd - 4th grade readers. Although, we did find the illustrations a little odd.

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