Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature's Footprints by Jim Arnosky
When children learn to recognize and read animal tracks they're actually mastering an ancient language of shapes and patterns — and gaining knowledge of the natural world. Acclaimed artist and naturalist Jim Arnosky has created a breathtaking and informative reference on the subject, filled with intricately drawn prints from creatures both wild and domestic, as well as large-scale paintings of the animals in their environment. Some of the art, labeled in Arnosky's own handwriting, even looks as if it came straight out of his personal notebooks. And best of all, many of the tracks are true to size, so kids can compare the trace left by a big-footed polar bear (whose paws act as snowshoes in its icy home) with that of a small bird. Adding to the eye-catching illustrations are four awesome gatefolds that display paintings of a bobcat, wolf, deer, and a variety of hoofed animals right next to their prints.