An artist and naturalist, Jim Arnosky began his career in children's books as a response to the time when fears of Lyme disease took over the media and families were being discouraged from spending time outdoors. Determined to share his enthusiasm for nature with kids, he began writing and illustrating the books that have proved so popular ever since, including All About Rattlesnakes, All About Deer, and other “All About” books for Scholastic. Arnosky advises sensible precautions when exploring outdoors — boots and a hat, for example — but emphasizes that curiosity and a spirit of discovery are the most important traits young adventurers need to have with them at all time.
A dedicated environmentalist, Arnosky refrains from making heavy-handed pronouncements in his children's books. Not only does he feel it's unfair to saddle young kids with worries about saving the earth, but he feels such pressure will make them reluctant to think positively about nature at all. “I prefer to show rather than tell,” he explains, “to teach rather than preach, to guide rather than simply warn. In showing my readers what I look for in my ramblings, I hope that they will keep an eye out for such things and make discoveries of their own when they are outdoors.” Arnosky is known for his detailed, accurate illustrations, and his attention to detail makes it easy for children to see how carefully nature has designed plants and animals to function in their natural habitats. In his many sketching and drawing books, he shares his techniques with youngsters, something he also enjoys doing with small groups of children.
Arnosky lives with his family on a 20-acre farm in South Ryegate, Vermont.