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America's Naturalist

by Thomas Locker


( from the book's dust jacket ) John Muir: America's Naturalist (Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing, 2003); 32 pages; 11 x 8.5 inches; full-color paintings; hardbound with dust jacket. Forward by Dr.Edgar Wayburn, Honorary President of the Sierra Club. Includes two pages of quotations from John Muir.


In a series of richly-painted landscapes, Thomas Locker brings the world and words of John Muir to readers, both the young and the young at heart.

Equally at home in the wildernesses of California and Alaska, Muir wrote charming lyrical descriptions of nature for the benefit of future generations.

Muir recognized that wilderness should not only be appreciated but should be fought for as well. He sparked the preservationist movement in the U.S. and throughout the world, working with President Theodore Roosevelt to establish national parks and spearheading the founding of the Sierra Club.

Locker's paintings are paired with a narrative about the key milestones in Muir's life.


About the Author and Illustrator:

Thomas Locker is the illustrator of thirty books for children, many of which he also wrote, including Walking with Henry: Based on the Life and Works of Henry David Thoreau . His books have received many awards, including the John Burroughs Award, NCTE Notable Trade Books in the Language Arts, NSTA-CBS Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children, the Christopher Award, and others. He makes his home in a small village at the edge of the Hudson River.


Also available as a companion to this book from the same publisher:

Teacher's Guide to Thomas Locker's John Muir: America's Naturalist
by Joan Franklin Smutny
8.5 x 11
Grades 4-8
Blackline Masters
Tie-in to national standards
Other language arts exercises
22 pages
$9.95
ISBN 1-55591-492-6

The guide has two parts. In the first [larger section] it takes the form of a meander in the woods and provides questions and activities to stimulate ideas for daily journal entires. A major objective of this guide is to inspire children to write nature journals. Ideally, teachers should have students write not only from Locker's paintings, but from their own wanderings in the outdoor world. The second part offers a range of ideas on how to use this extraordinary volume of paintings and texts to create stimulating activities and materials in the language arts curriculum.

The purpose of this guide is to:

  • increase students' observation and sensitivity to the natural world through all the five senses - sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touch
  • give students experience in nature writing, which includes making regular journal entires, writing essays, fiction, biography, and poetry
  • integrate language arts with visual arts, drama, and music to enhance the creative response and enable students to explore the complexities and intersections of art, nature, experience, and writing
  • provide opportunities for students to examine fundamental concepts and ideas about the role of nature, many, and society, as well as explore and express their own philosophies through different media

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