Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, April 3, 2017

Out of School and Into Nature: the Anna Comstock Story Written by Suzanne Slade

Out of School and Into Nature: the Anna Comstock Story
Written by Suzanne Slade & Illustrated by Jessica Lanan
Sleeping Bear Press. 2017
ISBN: 9781585369867
K - Grade 4
Note: Louise is writing all the reviews while Cathy is on sabbatical until February 2018.

This handsomely designed picture book biography of writer and scientist, Anna Comstock, is truly inspiring. The narrative is just the right mix of information that never falls flat in the telling.

She loved to hold it close in her fingers, she wanted to feel it squish between her toes, which was why she ran barefoot all summer long, raised slimy tadpoles into pet
toads, and climbed tall trees instead of sitting in their shade.”

Born in 1854, Anna’s observational skills allowed her to discover nature’s secrets. From camouflage to pollination, Anna absorbed it all. She loved nature so much she decided to go to college to learn more of its secrets. Despite the fact that women were not encouraged to seek higher education, Anna attended Cornell University. 

After graduation, Comstock would go on to write and illustrate nine nature books and initiated a nature-study program for teachers in New York State through Cornell. 

Lanan's colorful, watercolor illustrations strengthens this book’s appeal, as does the added engravings of Anna Comstock's art. Quotes from Comstock are set off from the rest of the text in a larger font

Back matter includes an author's note and quote sources
Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Louise