When children learn to recognize and read animal tracks they're actually mastering an ancient language of shapes and patterns — and gaining knowledge of the natural world. Acclaimed artist and naturalist Jim Arnosky has created a breathtaking and informative reference on the subject, filled with intricately drawn prints from creatures both wild and domestic, as well as large-scale paintings of the animals in their environment. Some of the art, labeled in Arnosky's own handwriting, even looks as if it came straight out of his personal notebooks. And best of all, many of the tracks are true to size, so kids can compare the trace left by a big-footed polar bear (whose paws act as snowshoes in its icy home) with that of a small bird. Adding to the eye-catching illustrations are four awesome gatefolds that display paintings of a bobcat, wolf, deer, and a variety of hoofed animals right next to their prints. Every spread has plenty of details on how to interpret the footprint, and the featured menagerie includes bighorn sheep and goats, chipmunks and rabbits, grizzlies and brown bears, horses and burros, domestic cats and dogs, and even slithering reptiles! This is the perfect gift for a budding naturalist, animal lover, or artist.<br /><br />Jim Arnosky has been honored for his overall contribution to literature for children by the Eva L. Gordon Award and the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for nonfiction. Many of his books have been chosen as ALA Notable Books, including <i>Drawing from Nature</i>, a Christopher Award-winner. <i>Wild Tracks!</i> is Jim's 100th book for children.