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One Day in the Woods


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About the Author

Jean Craighead George wrote over one hundred books for children and young adults. Her novel Julie of the Wolves won the Newbery Medal in 1973, and she received a 1960 Newbery Honor for My Side of the Mountain. She continued to write acclaimed picture books that celebrate the natural world. Her other books with Wendell Minor include The Wolves Are Back; Luck; Everglades; Arctic Son; Morning, Noon, and Night; and Galapagos George. "I began drawing before I could talk," says Gary Allen. "My family always knew I would become an artist, because I constantly drew pictures on the wall as high as I could reach." Gary Allen wen on to study art at the State University of New York College at New Paltz and is now a designer at The Culinary Institute of America In Hyde Park, New York. He lives in High Falls, New York, with his wife and stepson.


Gr 4-5 As in other titles in this series, George constructs a story featuring a particular child who spends a day alone in a natural habitat. Rebecca has determined that she will find an ovenbird in Teatown Woods in the Hudson Highlands of New York. The story is a vehicle for introducing the wildlife inhabiting the five layers of plant life in the woodlandsthe canopy, shrub, field, litter, and soil. Rebecca's encounters with various animals are gentle and respectful. One mishap occurs when Rebecca's forgotten magnifying glass catches the sun and starts a small fire; no drama ensues, for this is a sensible child who knows just what to do, supplying a small lesson in outdoor safety. The day climaxes at sunset with the appearance of the ovenbird and a concert of amazingly varied sound. Pleasing pencil drawings depict the animals in varied degrees of realism and follow some of Rebecca's activities. The repeated reference to animals as ``wizards of the woods'' adds a precious note to the quiet tale, and the slim book with its spacious format has a ``young'' look which belies the more difficult reading level of the text. This approach to natural history appeals to certain readers, and the volumes offer creative teaching possibilities. Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

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