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Discovering Nature's Alphabet [Hardcover]

Krystina Castella , Brian Boyl


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Book Description

May 1 2006
If you stand in just the right place, at just the right time, you are going to see some pretty amazing things. Like the three tall branches leaning against one another, creating the letter A. Or the spines of a cactus forming the letter F. And it looks like that bent, twisting tree trunk makes the bars of the letter K with that straight trunk in the foreground.

Discovering Nature’s Alphabet is more than an ABC book: it’s a hiking game and alphabet hunt. Full of beautiful photos and practiced imagination, These pages take readers outdoors to let them see nature in a new light. The shapes of the alphabet are everywhere if you look hard enough; not just in the branches or vines, but in the cracks between rocks, the spaces between mountain cliffs, and the accidental clumping of a couple bits of seaweed.

Whether you live near the ocean, the forest, or in the middle of a big city, there are letters to be found by the plucky young explorer in all of us.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Heyday Books (May 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159714021X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597140218
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 21.1 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #433,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

When Melville wrote about nature's "cunning alphabet," he meant it metaphorically: humans, he argued, see in nature only the lessons they seek. But husband-and-wife team Castella and Boyl have discovered a literal alphabet in the natural world, and they present its examples in 92 lovely full-color photographs. The images span the grand (set against a backdrop of the Grand Canyon, twin branches of a juniper tree form a Y) and the minute (the vein of a yucca leaf curls into a Q), the ancient (the O of petrified wood) and the brand new (the curving G of a mangrove seedling). Leaves, corals, branches and shoots form most of the letters, though there are icicles shaped like an M, a gecko curled like a P and an inlay of quartz that looks like a U. The text is rudimentary and encouraging—the sort of thing that adults should ignore unless they are reading to rapt children: "Nature holds a secret world filled with hidden letters. The best way to find them is to slow down and explore." Though it's sweet and simple, this is also the sort of book that might spur its readers, young or not, off the couch and into the great wide readable world. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2 Up Castella and Boyl have assembled a portfolio of photographs of natural objects that form individual letters of the alphabet. From beaches to deserts, they discovered letters large and small in vines and flowers, tree trunks and seedpods. The minimal text urges readers to undertake such explorations to find their own hidden patterns. Two to five photos for each letter provide plenty of examples to encourage such discoveries. Information on photo locations follows an explanatory afterword about the project. None of the shots was staged; the photos were not retouched. Obviously the book is not for alphabet novices. However, it would work well to spark interest in a number of subjects, particularly science, art, and design, and could be appreciated by budding naturalists. Stephen T. Johnson's Alphabet City (Viking, 1995) and Joanne Dugan's ABC NYC (Abrams, 2005) record human-made structures. All these books should stimulate readers to explore the world around them and to look more closely at their surroundings. Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"Discovering nature's alphabet" is a playful adventure, a game of looking and seeing. Read the first page
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Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars an imitation Oct. 5 2007
By Carman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book, published in 2006, copies an earlier book, ABCs Naturally (Trails Books, 2003), in concept, in format and even in some of the text. The authors then have the audacity to claim that it is "the first ABC book of its kind". Shamelessly derivative.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovering Nature's Alphabet Nov. 10 2007
By Carrie S. Robbins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is amazing. I give it at every baby shower I go to, and it is the hit of the shower. It gets passed around and everyone wants to know where to get it. The photography is absolutely stunning and both kids and adults enjoy the book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful July 11 2006
By Genevieve Mcglinchey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This husband and wife team have presented a beautiful hardcover book encouraging children to look for the shapes of the alphabet in nature. While it inspires children to take a creative perspective, it is also a stellar example of beautiful and ethical nature photography; None of the many photographs have been staged or retouched in this collection of photographs, mostly taken in the western United States.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exceptional pictures Feb. 7 2010
By Le retraité heureux - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I recommend strongly this book for all lovers of A, B, C books.
A must to have.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful ABC-Nature Book Nov. 9 2007
By D. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is amazing. I cannot believe they found all of the letters in nature. I really like the end where they tell you what each picture is and where it was found. Not only are my children learning their letters, but we are now always on the hunt for our own letters to photograph.
ARRAY(0xb92706cc)

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