It’s night. It’s dark. It’s time to go indoors—or is it? The outdoors at night can be a scary place, but this book will help young readers investigate the mysterious nature of night.
To explore the night, it would be great to have eyes like an owl, the sensitive nose of a deer, and feet that can move as silently as a fox. Humans aren’t quite as good as nocturnal animals at navigating the darkness, but we can come surprisingly close. Our senses are much sharper than we realize, if we learn how to use them. Some scientists are even researching the sensory abilities of human hair!
Each chapter of the book spotlights a different nocturnal creature. And while learning about animals’ adaptations for navigating the world of night, young readers discover their own surprising abilities.
Years of teaching children in the outdoors has given the author, renowned environmental educator Anita Sanchez, firsthand experience in introducing students to the terrors and joys of nature at night. She has led kids on night walks in a variety of habitats, including urban settings. Based on these experiences, the book describes night-time landscapes and the nocturnal animals that inhabit them, from desert coyotes to the frog chorus in a backyard pond—and a corner of the bathroom at midnight where a spider lurks.
Readers will encounter:
--The great horned owl, who can spot the twitch of a mouse’s tail in almost total darkness.
--The Gila monster, who prowls the desert night using its tongue to locate prey.
--The super-sensitive ears of a bullfrog (yes, frogs have ears!)
--The delicate sense of touch of a spider, capturing its prey by feeling the slightest vibrations of its web.
Sidebars called “You Can Do It!” offer fun and active ways for kids to explore their own senses—learning more about their own eyes, ears, nose, and senses of touch and taste.
--While using crayons at night, can your eyes tell red from green?
--Can you hold completely still for an entire minute, like a fox stalking its prey?
--Could you follow the scent trail of an onion across the back yard?
--Can you find sounds in the dark? Learn to use the “big ears” technique to locate sounds with accuracy.
During her career as an environmental educator, Anita Sanchez has led thousands of students on night walks. She has drawn on this experience to write an entertaining book about science for kids. As a professional environmental educator, she worked for more than twenty-five years at three education centers operated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. She is the author of several books on science and nature for children.
George Steele is an environmental educator working with schools, nature centers and museums throughout the Northeast. The former director of the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s Education Camp Program, he received the Conservation Educator Award from the NYS Conservation Council, and the NYS Outdoor Education Association’s Gold Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has a degree in Forest Biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.