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To venture into “C.C. Lockwood’s Louisiana Nature Guide” is to take a field trip through the state without getting your boots messy. Lockwood’s whimsical, knowing narration and beautiful, enchanting photographs will, however, irresistibly lure readers outdoors – even if no further than the backyard. The nature bug will bite recluse and explorer alike.

Twenty-nine brief sections pique readers’ curiosity about topics such as: Geological Periods, Reptiles, Endangered Species, Plant and Animal Classifications, Animal Behavior, Nature-related Careers, Mammals, Fish, Backyard Wildlife, Birds, Habitats, and Amphibians.

The book is chock-full of tidbits about Louisiana, (only five other states have more species of birds), anecdotes from Lockwood’s own experience (he camps out about a hundred days per year), questions to ponder (“Do you think that the inventor of Velcro got his idea from the cocklebur?”), and creative suggestions for observing nature (coat a pinecone with peanut butter and sunflower seeds then dangle it on a string and watch a squirrel figure out how to eat it) – making this guide as entertaining as it is educational.

As to be expected of any print from the camera of C.C. Lockwood, the 246 color photographs bedazzle. Lockwood captures the irrepressible glee, curiosity, amazement, and affection that animate the faces of youngsters cuddling a nutria, surveying the tracks of a black bear, or touching a baby alligator.

Geared primarily toward seven to thirteen year olds, the guide is also suitable for bright younger children and older youth. (It’s no secret that many adults, too, will find in the book a sweet release from their usually enclosed habitats and some excellent ideas for activities with kids.)

9 1/2 x 10 1/2 cloth – 92 pages – 246 pictures