Sunday, April 10, 2011

Field Guides

From Backyard to the Sea
If you don't always know the difference between one tree or another; which tweet is serenading you from a backyard nest; or what creature called your latest beachcombed shell home, you may enjoy any of the following generously illustrated field guides.

The Book of Leaves by Allen J. Coombes
This five pound wonder includes actual size photos of 600 leaves from around the world. New England's trees are not short-shrifted.

The Books of Shells by M. G. Harasewych & Fabio Moretzsohn
You'll find another 600 entries here, most about familiar mollusks and the geographical regions in which they live.  Among others, DK's Shell, a kid's title by Alex Arthur, may serve as useful companion.

A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes by Valerie A. Kells & Kent Carpenter
If you fish marine waters, this guide may be for you.  The guide will also appeal to rod and reel lovers who are looking to plan a fishing vacation trip to an east or gulf coast locale.

The Book of Fungi by Peter Roberts and Shelley Evans
Due out next week, this guide showcases both the beauty and role of fungi in the natural world. Location maps show each species’ known global distribution.

Birds of North America [American Museum of Natural History]
Any novice or avid birder is likely to enjoy this armchair reference book.  Also try the Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America or Bird Songs Bible.

Field Guides and Your Family
Field guides can offer a useful way to plan and forward exploratory outings with your kids.  Pair any of the above guides with how-to books by Richard Louv, who also hosts a website about keeping not just city kids in touch with the natural world.

The library also offers money saving passes to CT's state parks, as part of the statewide No Child Left Inside initiative.