This is a guide of the highest quality from Gecko Press. As the award-winning author explains, ‘An observologist is someone who makes scientific expeditions every day, albeit very small ones…They are expert at finding tiny creatures, plants and fungi’ (p. 4). The first section of the book explains all about observology, the study of looking. Then the four following sections describe what can be found in four different places: A Damp Corner, Pavement, A Weedy Patch and Behind the Curtains.
Over 100 minibeasts are considered throughout this beautiful hardback. Text is complemented by excellent graphic and comic illustrations. In addition, there are many full-page drawings: the one showing honeybees is my favourite! The information presented is perfect for the curious youngster who is keen to learn more about nature and the environment in an accessible way.
This publication is peppered with useful instructions such as, ‘How to Save a Worm That’s in Danger of Being Stomped On,’ (p.68) and ‘How to Help an Exhausted Honeybee or Bumblebee’ (p. 75). There are heaps of scientific facts as well as interesting ecological information. For example, the Slugs and Snails chapter covers six pages with lots of suggestions as to where to find them.
I had not come across New Zealand author illustrator Giselle Clarkson previously, but her books have won many awards, and I will be seeking them out. Whilst I have put the age range for this book as 8-10 it is aimed at both younger and older readers than this. It would make a fantastic present for a child keen on science and the natural world as well as being ideal for the school and library. It is a comprehensive, ‘Handbook for Mounting Very Small Scientific Expeditions’ as it says on the front cover and would be unputdownable for the budding scientist!