This product is scheduled to be released on: 15 March 2017

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Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story

 
Cover: Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story
 
 

This picture book biography examines the life and career of naturalist and artist Anna Comstock (1854-1930), who defied social conventions and pursued the study of science. From the time she was a young girl, Anna Comstock was fascinated by the natural world. She loved exploring outdoors, examining wildlife and learning nature's secrets. From watching the teamwork of marching ants to following the constellations in the sky, Anna observed it all. And her interest only increased as she grew older and went to college at Cornell University. There she continued her studies, pushing back against those social conventions that implied science was a man's pursuit. Eventually Anna became known as a nature expert, pioneering a movement to encourage schools to conduct science and nature classes for children outdoors, thereby increasing students' interest in nature. In following her passion, this remarkable woman blazed a trail for female scientists today.

Table of Contents

  • Beginning of text
  • More about Anna

Details

Specifications

  • Dewey: 508.092
  • Graphics: Full-color illustrations
  • Hardcover (9781585369867): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2017, 03/15/2017 NYP
  • PDF (9781634723992): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2017, 03/15/2017 NYP
  • Hosted ebook (9781634724296): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2017, 03/15/2017 NYP
  • Subject: Language Arts, Natural Sciences

Leveling

  • Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
  • Suggested Reading Level: Grade 4

BISAC Subjects

Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Out of School and into Nature

Slade (The Music in George’s Head) and Lanan’s (The Story I’ll Tell) account of the life of artist and naturalist Anna Comstock unfolds against an airy, pastoral landscape, where she observed the local flora and fauna of the countryside. As Comstock grew older, so did her love for science and nature, leading her to study at Cornell and spearhead efforts to get children outdoors at school, where they could examine nature firsthand. Quotations from Comstock are sprinkled throughout, accompanied by Slade’s gentle narration: “Anna believed that children should experience nature too. They needed to hold it close in their fingers, feel it squish between their toes.” It’s a lovely tribute to a pioneering educator. Ages 6–10.

Kirkus Reviews - Out of School and Into Nature

Slade and Lanan bring the biography of scientist Anna Comstock to young readers. A true story about an early champion of nature education, this beautifully illustrated watercolor picture book introduces young readers to Anna Botsford Comstock, a white woman born in 1854. At a time when girls were expected to get married, then stick close to home and take care of their families, Anna’s “heart belonged to her first love—nature.” She attended Cornell University to study entomology and also honed her artistic craft in drawing insects. Anna Comstock insisted that New York state integrate nature study into classroom lessons and allow children to experience nature while in school. “People thought she was crazy. Didn’t she know school rules? Students learn inside. Students play outside!” But eventually, Anna’s ideas prevailed, and science and nature remain vital aspects of American education today, in part because of Anna’s early advocacy. The story opens with a barefoot Anna sitting on a fallen log, dipping her toes into the water, and it ends with Anna as an old woman, perched on that same log with her feet and the bottom of her skirt dangling in the water. Quotes from her writing augment the illustrations in a complementary display type. The informative backmatter fills in more details about the life and accomplishments of this naturalist, writer, scholar, and forward-thinking female pioneer. An inspirational must-read for budding scientists and those who teach them. (notes, bibliography) (Picture book. 5-8)

Contributors

Author: Suzanne Slade

Illustrator: Jessica Lanan