'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 20 October 2023

Review: The Observologist

If you've ever wanted a book for kids who are curious about the small creatures easily found in the backyard, on a walk around the neighbourhood, or even inside your house, then this is it.

The Observologist is a 'handbook for mounting very small scientific expeditions'. It's packed with interesting and useful information and well-labelled diagrams and illustrations galore.

There are five main sections to dip into. The first is all about 'observology', or as the book explains, the study of looking. It can brighten up any number of situations including when waiting for your turn at something, or when there's a power cut.

When observing the natural world, you can look in all kinds of places, and that's where the principles of observology come in handy. In just one example, always be careful, but look carefully at and turn over leaves on the ground and you might discover a stink bug, or ladybird, or see that a caterpillar has been having lunch.

The Observologist will take nature explorers through a variety of concepts such as taxonomies and how they work, scientific names, life cycles, and the anatomy of invertebrates (because that's what many of the creatures found in your backyard will be). 

Other sections discuss different places you can be a good observologist: a damp corner, the pavement, a weedy patch, and behind the curtains. These are the places to uncover things like slugs and snails, fungi and lichen, ants, worms, butterflies, and many other creatures. There's information and diagrams about droppings, larvae, and a whole bunch about bees, plus lots more.

It's not all about animals, though. Plants are important as food and homes for them, too. Learn about seeds and leaves, as well as getting advice on how to look after nature, including how to save a worm that's in danger from human feet, helping an exhausted bee, and relocating a spider. There's also humour which will appeal, like how to sneak up on a bug.

Giselle Clarkson has done a marvellous job with this informative and inspirational visual book. The Observologist is fabulous for kids of all ages and I can't wait to share it with the younger readers in my family. Highly recommended.

Title: The Observologist
Author/Illustrator: Giselle Clarkson
Publisher: Gecko Press, $ 37.99
Publication Date: October 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN:  9781776575190
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior Non-Fiction