North American Wildlife – Nature Book Review


Readers Digest North American Wildlife book review @handbookofnaturestudy

I am going to go out on a limb and say that everyone that lives in North America should have this book on their shelf right next to the Handbook of Nature Study. I LOVE this book. It will come in handy next month to go along with the newsletter theme of mammals….and in many of the months to come too.

North American Wildlife: An Illustrated Guide to 2,000 Plants and Animals
ISBN 978-1-60652-491-6 (this is an affiliate link)

I have actually purchased three of these books to give to special people in my life that I know will love it too! Two of those people are children of friends of mine whom I have noticed a joy in nature study.

Readers Digest North American Wildlife @handbookofnaturestudy

  • To start with, the organization of this book is so practical and informative. It not only arranges the the information by category, it also organizes it by habitat. The habitat pages list typical things you would see while visiting and then cross references to the information later in the book. The pages are also color coded with a tab that helps you easily flip to a section of interest.
  • Categories included in the book: mammals, fish, insects, birds, amphibians, trees, flowers, and mushrooms. So, if you don’t have a specific field guide for each of those categories, you can use this book to cover the most likely things you may observe in North America. It has over 2,oo0 entries but it doesn’t cover everything you may encounter…this doesn’t diminish its value in my eyes.
  • The entries include illustrations of the subjects, not photos. In my opinion, this is actually better and the beautiful watercolor illustrations are very clear and large enough to use for identification. Also, I am finding the “checkmarks” or I have always called them “field marks” are highlighted to point out traits for a subject that will help you identify things you see in nature.
  • Another valuable feature of this book are the range maps for each item. A small graphic of North America is shown with the range shaded and icons for the habitats you might find the subject.
  • In the mammals section, the footprint (track) is also shown if appropriate

I enjoyed hearing the comments of both the 8 year old and the 13 year old that I gave this book to as a gift. They both paged through most of the book in the first day they had it…one paying special attention to the reptile section and one to the wildflowers. One of them hugged the book to their chest and said that they loved the book. The mom of the 8 year old said she is going to incorporate the book into their science plans for the year and she told me that her son wanted to make sure it was coming on an up-coming camping trip. Music to my ears and no great surprise…it is a great book.


I am highly recommending this book to all Outdoor Hour Challenge families who live in North America. This is a perfect complement to the Handbook of Nature Study and will give your family a valuable tool in digging deeper into the wonders of nature in our own part of the world.

Nature Book Project 2015 @handbookofnaturestudy
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  1. Cheryl Ramirez says:

    We have had copies of this book for nearly 10 years. My then 7 year old daughter did not want to let it out of her room so I was obligated to get another one for the rest of us! It is one of those books you can peruse year after year and never get tired of it. I have taken the “family” copy on nature outings, very helpful!

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