CLiF would like to introduce or re-introduce you to Jim Arnosky of South Ryegate, VT. Jim, self taught in writing, art and the natural sciences, has written and illustrated over 130 books on nature subjects and has illustrated 46 other books written by various authors. Jim loves to fish, boat, and play his guitar. In his work, he uses a Canon XL High Definition with telephoto lens to record the wildlife he and his wife and research partner Deanna find all across the country.
Things to think about:
- How do you use photography to create art and books?
- Do you write the books to music or do the songs come later?
- How do you decide where to travel next and what to research? See Jim’s travel logs to get a sense of his research trips.
- What makes an animal or an environment interesting?
- Do your books rhyme? When do you use poems?
Here are a few ways to get to know Jim’s work better:
- Watch his Drawing From Nature series (1987) on VT PBS
- Play the animal match game with Man Gave Names to All the Animals with Bob Dylan
- Hear his original songs
- Look at Crinkleroot’s Nature Guides
- Create your own nature art using Jim’s templates
- Put Jim’s poem You Wanna Iguana? into a book or song
- Every Autumn Comes the Bear read for you (search youtube for more of Jim’s books read out loud)
CLiF has created literacy activities for students of all ages here. Here are some that would go nicely with Linda’s work:
For younger kids:
- Dress Up Day – study an animal and create a costume featuring its most interesting characteristics
- Reading Passports – track the locations of animals that come up in your books
For older kids:
- Get Out! – look for a plant or animal in your neighborhood and make some observations
- Story Yoga – so many yoga poses are of animals; create and teach a story using poses