Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, July 10, 2017

Creekfinding: a True Story By Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Creekfinding: a True Story
By Jacqueline Briggs Martin; Illustrations by Claudia McGehee
University of Minnesota Press. 2017
ISBN: 9780816698028
All ages
I borrowed a copy of this book from my local public library to write this review

Note: Louise is composing all the reviews this year while Cathy is on Sabbatical. She returns February 2018.

A true story of how one man, Mike Osterholm, decided to uncover and restore a long ago buried creek. The lush, beautiful illustrations by Claudia McGehee really make this environmental story come alive.

One day, as Mike was working on his farm, a neighbor explained that years ago he had caught a brook trout in a creek that once had been on that very spot. “A brook trout in a corn field? No way!”  Not many believed Mike could bring the creek back to life and fill it with brook trout, but he didn’t give up. Using an old photograph, Mike marked the creeks path. With the help of friends with big trucks, they dug and dug and dug until the water, “seeped in from the sides, raced down the riffles and runs, burbled into holes, filled the creek.”

“But a creek isn’t just water. It is plants, rocks, bugs, fish and birds."

Finally after several years, with patience, perseverance, and a lot of hard work,  Mike had a healthy creek with plants and bugs and rocks and fish and birds.

He called it Brook Creek and it is part of Prairie Song Farm in Iowa.

Back matter includes an author and illustrator’s note, and more information about Mike Osterholm.

A important addition to any library collection.


  1. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. This sounds like my kind of story & I LOVE Claudia's art. I am a lucky owner of one of her prints of cedar waxwings :)

  3. Thanks for noticing our book. Plants, bugs, rocks, fish, and birds are thriving at Brook Creek even as I write this.

    1. Good to know, Jackie. This is a beautiful and inspiring story. Thanks for writing it.