Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times Notable Children's Book for 2011 One of Horn Books Best Nonfiction Books of 2011
The 20,000 acres of wetlands in New Jersey now known as the Meadowlands were once home to hundreds of species of plants and animals. But in the four hundred years since European explorers first arrived in the Meadowlands, people have dammed up, drained, built over, and polluted this formerly vibrant ecosystem—and all but destroyed it. Still, signs of life remain—under bridges, on the edges of parking lots, and beside train tracks. Slowly but surely, with help from activist groups, government organizations, and ordinary people, the resilient creatures of the Meadowlands are making a comeback, and the wetlands are recovering.
"Judicious ink and watercolor illustrations pair with tender prose to tell the story of the Meadowlands estuary in New Jersey, which bounced back from being 'one of the worst places in America.' Yezerski paints a vivid history of the place where the Hackensack River meets Newark Bay, and where the Lenni Lenape lived for thousands of years. During the 1800s, the Meadowlands were logged and by the mid-20th century, it had become a sewage and garbage dump. With restrained elegance, Yezerski describes how the Meadowlands has slowly recovered, while nimble border art offers signs of the times, as oysters and Conestoga wagons give way to benzene, mercury, mobsters, and, later, the re-emergence of wildlife. The healthy comingling of urban and natural worlds in the final spreads makes this portrait especially poignant. Ages 5 8. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“A spectacular offering.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Yezerski adroitly captures the tensions and hope in the sometimes adversarial, sometimes beneficial relationship between humans and the environment in this marvelous ecological history of the Meadowlands of New Jersey, an estuary trapped in a dense industrial, commercial, and residential area.” –Starred, Horn Book
“A spectacular offering.” –Kirkus Reviews
“The wetlands have retained their power to regenerate, a process that the book's beautiful watercolors bring to vivid life.” -Los Angeles Times
“Yezerski not only can write a book on how to teach children about their environmental impact — he has.” -New York Times.com
“Thomas Yezerski's pleasingly presented history of this "flat, wet place in New Jersey" helps all of us see the workings of an estuary, spongy ground where a freshwater river meets the ocean tides.” -Chicago Tribune
“Thanks to picture books like Yezerski's, young readers can appreciate the complexity of an ecosystem in their own neighborhood.” -The Sacramento Bee
“Judicious ink and watercolor illustrations pair with tender prose …Yezerski paints a vivid history of the place where the Hackensack River meets Newark Bay, and where the Lenni Lenape lived for thousands of years…The healthy commingling of urban and natural worlds in the final spreads makes this portrait especially poignant.” -Starred, Publishers Weekly
"Although readers who know the Meadowlands personally will have a special interest in the topic, the idea of fostering and protecting plant and animal habitats in urban environments can resonate with a broad audience." -Starred, School Library Journal
“Yezerski adroitly captures the tensions and hope in the sometimes adversarial, sometimes beneficial relationship between humans and the environment in this marvelous ecological history of the Meadowlands of New Jersey, an estuary trapped in a dense industrial, commercial, and residential area.” -Starred, Horn Book
“Along with the portraits of active conservationists, including young people, who are working to protect the environment, the close-up views of the interconnectedness of each small creature will grab readers.” -Booklist
“A spectacular offering.” -Kirkus Reviews
“The text handily covers the particulars, but keen, patient observers can “read” the ecological story through the illustrations alone.” -Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books
"This is a book they sit a long time with, examining the tiny drawings with care and interest. I used this book with great success as a classroom read aloud and the teacher reported that the book got constant traffic for independent reading after that." --Bookends, Booklist blog
"Profiles of scientists and ranchers, discussions of other animals of the Pantanal, Bishop's typically electric photography, and a few tense moments in the wild combine to create a full, fascinating picture of tapirs and one place they call home, as well as the work being done to protect them."
and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Chapters about the team's day-by-day experiences, written in a lively, first-person voice, include memorable detail. . . A splendid addition to an exemplary series."
and#8212;Kirkus, starred review
"This contribution to the Scientists in the Field series seamlessly blends eloquent text and vivid images to spotlight the gentle tapir and those field scientists whose lives are committed to conserve animal species for the sake of our environment and our humanity."
and#8212;Booklist, starred review
"Bishop's captivating photographs, paired with Montgomery's narrative, not only call attention to a lesser-known endangered species, but also expose readers to the working conditions, obstacles, and emotions experienced by passionate scientists in the field."
and#8212;School Library Journal, starred review
"[The book] offers a clear-eyed picture of the challenges and the joys of pioneering fieldwork."
and#8212;Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Montgomery's dramatic account of tracking the elusive animals is interspersed with scientific information about the various tapir species, samples of Medici's data on tapir movements, explanations of the technologies used in the research, and discussions of Brazilian ranching culture."
and#8212;The Horn Book Magazine
The Tapir Scientist introduces young readers to one of the weirdest and most fascinating animals on the planet and recounts the extraordinary work of the dedicated scientists trying toand#160;save them.
If youand#8217;ve never seen a lowland tapir, youand#8217;re not alone. Most of the people who live near tapir habitat in Braziland#8217;s vast Pantanal (and#8220;the Everglades on steroidsand#8221;) havenand#8217;t seen the elusive snorkel-snouted mammal, either. In this arresting nonfiction picture book, Sibert winners Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop join a tapir-finding expedition led by the Brazilian field scientist Pati Medici. Aspiring scientists will love the immediate, often humorous and#8220;you are thereand#8221; descriptions of fieldwork, and gadget lovers will revel in the high-tech science at play, from microchips to the camera traps that capture the and#8220;soap operaand#8221; of tapir life.
About the Author
Sy Montgomery is an author,andnbsp;naturalist, newspaper columnist,andnbsp;scriptwriter, and radio commentator who writes award-winning books for children as well as adults. She lives in Hancock, New Hampshire.andnbsp;Visit her website at symontgomery.com. andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp; Syandnbsp;Montgomery and photographer Nic Bishop won theandnbsp;Sibert Medal in 2011andnbsp;for their collaborative work on Kakapo Rescue:andnbsp;Saving the World's Strangest Parrot,andnbsp;another Scientist in the Field title.andnbsp;andnbsp;