Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Citizen Scientists Be a Part of Science From Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard

Title:  Citizen Scientists: Be A Part of Scientific Discovery
From Your Own Backyard
Author: Loree Griffin Burns
Publisher: Henry Holt &Co. (BYR)
Published: February 14, 2012
Format:  Paperback
Pages: 80
Source: Won from Goodreads First Reads
Read: July 9-10th
My Rating:  5 Stars
In A Few Words:  Engaging and  fun

Goodreads Synopsis
Anyone can get involved in gathering data for ongoing, actual scientific studies such as the Audubon Bird Count and FrogWatch USA. Just get out into a field, urban park, or your own backyard. You can put your nose to a monarch pupa or listen for raucous frog calls. You can tally woodpeckers or sweep the grass for ladybugs. This book, full of engaging photos and useful tips, will show you how.

Melissas's Musings:

I have to say right off the bat that this is a great book. It's informative, well written, and most important of all,  fun.

The first thing that caught my eye was the author's definition of citizen science. It's a very basic definition but still important. Burns defines citizen science as: "The study of our world by the people who live in it."

This resonated for me in particular because having my degree in Sociology, I can really relate to that. Granted, Sociology is more narrowly defined, being that it's the scientific study of society and the way it works, but broadly, the two are very similar.

Although the book is meant for children, to help foster their love for learning and studying animals, I really think adults can learn a lot from it too.

The language is easily broken down and well illustrated by lots of pictures and examples of the activity that the author is describing. The author also really promotes getting outside, and doing these different tasks in order to help the various species and the research efforts for each one.

I really enjoyed the structure of the book. It's divided into four sections, one for each of the four seasons, with each season highlighting a different animal. Fall is dedicated to butterflies, Winter to birds, Spring to frogs, and Summer to ladybugs. There are also quizzes at the end of each section. Plus there's an extensive list of resources and an excellent glossary at the back of the book as well.

I believe that this book is geared toward ages 10-12 but I really think that any age child can enjoy it, even if it just means looking at the photos. The photos, by the way are beautiful and varied.

I'd recommend this to anyone who has a curious youngster (or who may just be curious themselves) who wants to learn about these animals.

*Please note that I won this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads Program*

1 comment:

Alison Can Read said...

This sounds like a really cute book. I often find that non-fiction books for children are useful to read as an adult. They break issues down into easy to read concepts, giving me the things I need to know a lot easier than an adult book, which can get convoluted.