From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Defining citizen science as the study of the world by the people who live in it, Burns encourages children to try four activities, one for each season. In the fall, volunteers can tag monarch butterflies with stickers that help scientists track their migration. Winter brings opportunities for bird-watching and, in particular, the Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count. The chapter on spring frog monitoring describes a middle-school field trip that discovered many frogs with deformities and sparked an investigation by scientists. The summer project involves finding ladybugs, photographing them, and submitting information to the Lost Ladybug Project. Throughout this handsome volume, exceptionally clear color photos illustrate the animals mentioned and the adults and children observing them. Though occasionally the book seems better suited to parents and teachers than to kids, the text is clearly written and the idea of promoting science as a rewarding, hands-on activity is a powerful one. Another engaging book from Burns and Harasimowicz, who collaborated on Hive Detectives (2010).--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal
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Gr 4-6-An engaging book of seasonal projects for nature lovers (and their parents and teachers as well). Burns explains in her informally sociable text, "Citizen science is the study of our world by the people who live in it." Beginning with fall, she delves into migratory monarchs, instructing youngsters how to catch, tag, and release these long-distance flitters, and goes on to provide a history and a geography of monarch migration patterns. She introduces two young "Monarch Watchers" (ages seven and six), presents a list of necessary equipment, and offers a quick quiz (answers at the back of the book). She repeats this format for winter (joining in the Christmas Bird Count); spring "frogging" at night (identifying mating calls); and summer ("ladybugging"). Resource sections containing a list of books, field guides, and websites are included for each critter, along with pointers for finding more. Burns is careful to emphasize "gentleness" in catching, tagging, photographing, and releasing specimens. Crisp color photos flow through the pages, many showing kids of various ages hot on the trail of frog sounds or birdcalls. Interested readers will enjoy many of the suggested titles, and a side trip into such elegant offerings as Pamela Turner's The Frog Scientist (2009) or Sy Montgomery's The Tarantula Scientist (2004, both Houghton Harcourt) might show them how far these early explorations might lead. Handsome and challenging.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.