This book will open students’ eyes to the community of animals they can find in an old log. From mites to salamanders to daddy longlegs, this minihabitat is teeming with life.
— Learning Magazine (Back-to-School 2011)
Field trip! What excitement for children to anticipate new discoveries in nature and have fun while learning. Author Anthony D. Fredericks creates enchanting rhythms and rhymes accompanied by Jennifer DiRubbio’s realistic, sometimes larger-than- life paintings and spreads in this remarkable guide, Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders. The result is an intriguing, yet accessibke way to learn about nature’s cycles, decomposition, and the reemergence of new life.
With an opening letter to the book’s visitors, Roly-poly, a balled up buddy—a gray, rounded, small land creature—begins the thrilling lesson with an overview. He describes what happens when a flourishing, giant oak tree is struck by lightning and then blown down by wind. The roly-poly, sometimes called a doodle-bug, tells about the predator and the prey, the big and the small, and the decaying tree which becomes a wonderful
home for them.
Long soaking rains seeped into some spaces;
Wide patches of moss spread over these places.
Over time the great tree slowly wasted away;
The once mighty trunk began to decay.
Young readers discover a busy community in astonishing arrays of insects that find a home in the rotting log site. Ants, worms, millipedes, crickets, and beetles scamper about; termites chew on the wood; a scared salamander hides beneath it. A garter snake slithers around. A chipmunk twitters and squeaks. Like a children’s repeating song, the rhyme builds and repeats as each colorful spread reveals another type of insect or animal that benefits from living in the dead oak tree.
Some daddy longlegs, like alien creatures,
Have thin spindly legs and other strange features.
They creep past the mites—a hundred or so;
Swarming over the log, on top and below.
They live with the snake in search of some prey
Who slithers and slides for most of the day.
In the back of the book are informative Field Notes with descriptions, definitions, and “Fantastic Facts” about the dead oak tree, its process of decay, and the animals that take up residence in it, thereby giving it new purpose. The final section of this marvelous book, a field trip taken indoors, is a section titled “Activities, Projects, and Lots of Cool Ideas!” These suggestions will provide still more enjoyable occupation Around One Log. The book is described as juvenile literature, but adults will also be enamored of its timeless message of ecology.
— ForeWord Magazine – Mary Popham (March 2011)
Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders is a rhyming children’s picturebook about the amazing variety of animals that populate a supposedly dead and rotting log. Beautiful, realistic color illustrations show a yellow-and-black salamander that feeds on the termites eating the wood; a garter snake that slithers by; daddy longlegs spiders; a spry chipmunk; and more. The repeating rhythm of the rhyme drives home the point about how interconnected the web of animal life is. “Year after year the log continued to rot, / Then a class on a walk came up to this spot. / One student – she asked, to her teacher she said- / ‘Is this log alive? Or is it now dead?'” Around One Log is an excellent read-aloud storybook with a strong environmental theme. Highly recommended.
— Midwest Book Review (May 2011)
Dawn Publications, one of the nation’s premier publishers of children’s ecology books, is located in nearby Nevada City. Dawn’s mission is to inspire in children a deeper understanding and appreciation for all life on Earth. Since 1979 they’ve succeeded by publishing books of unusual beauty that help children and their parents understand nature, and how to honor and protect it. If these are values you’d like to share with your children, take a look at some of Dawn’s new books.
. . . Lightning fells a great oak in the forest. The tree decays as years go by, while numerous creatures move in: a salamander, garter snake, chipmunk, spiders, termites, and roly-polies. One day a group of children on a field trip discover the tree. “Is this log alive? Or is it now dead?” asks a little girl. While the tree may be officially dead, it has become a mini-habitat for a teeming community of life. The cumulative rhyme is fun to read aloud and the detailed drawings are captivating. End materials includes, Field Notes, with ‘fantastic facts’ about each of the tree’s residents, and two pages of activities and projects you can do with your children.
— California Kids! Family Fun Guide – Connie Goldsmith (June 2011)
This fun, rhyming book provides readers with great facts and pictures of chipmunks, spiders, and creepy bugs. A tree begins to decay in the rain and over time, bugs and animals start to make home around the old log. Each page gives a large illustration of the animal or critter living in or around the log, along with a short poem describing what the animal does in its home. This book will interest most young children, particularly those who like bugs.
— Oneota Reading Journal – Deborah L. Norland, Ph.D. (December 2011)
Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders is an interesting children’s book about life in and around an oak log on the ground. Mosses, ants, worms, millipedes, termites, salamanders, snakes, mites, chipmunks and other animals visit the log which is decaying on the ground. Children will enjoy the illustrations and rhyming text. Sections describing the animals featured in the book and activities and projects that can be done are included.
— Simcoe.com – Glenn Perrett (March 30, 2011)
Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders and Creepy Insiders is a children’s nature study book about the creatures who live in the habitat of a fallen, rotting log, Laden with colorful accurate illustrations of flora and fauna tell the story of the log from start to finish, beginning with the standing oak tree which is stricken by lightning in a thunderstorm. Once the ancient tree has fallen, its decay process begins, and it becomes home to many creepy crawly creatures, including ants, worms, millipedes, and beetles. These creatures devour the decaying wood. A salamander hides under the log for shelter and perhaps feeds on some of the insects who inhabit it. Termites, roly-polies, and a garter snake come to the decaying log to find food and shelter. Other creatures that come include red velvet mites, daddy longlegs, and a chipmunk. One day a girl on a nature hike wither class sees the fallen tree and asks the intriguing question, “Is this log alive nor, or is it dead?” A host of learning activities, crafts and cool ideas relating to the log habitat are suggested at the end of the book, along with a picture coded list of flora and fauna observed in the Field Notes. There are many fun fantastic facts in the Field Notes section beside each identifying picture. Around One Log is ideal nature and environmental educational reading for children 7-8 and up.
— Midwest Book Review (June 2011)
5 Star Rating – EXCELLENT
If a tree falls down in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it just become a dead log? No, it becomes home to many different creatures! After an opening letter by “Your balled-up buddy, Roly-poly,” author Anthony D. Fredericks uses catchy rhymes to describe a great oak tree that is hit by lightening and blown down by the wind, and then after it begins to decay, the termites that feed on the rotting wood, a salamander that hides under it, the roly-polies that live in it, the garter snake that slides over it, the red velvet mites that crawl on it, the daddy longlegs that creep around it, and the chipmunk that climbs it. What will the school class see when they walk past the log on a field trip?
The full color, life-like drawings by illustrator Jennifer DiRubbio help to reinforce the many valuable lessons about nature that children can glean from the book which, in addition to the information about the different creatures, include the concept of habitat, the interconnected relationships of different plants and animals, and the earth’s way of recycling. The repetitive character of the poetry will be encouraging to beginning readers. At the end, there are two pages of field notes about the tree and animals, and two more pages with suggestions for activities and projects. Similar books by Fredericks are Under One Rock, which I have read and reviewed, In One Tidepool, Around One Cactus, Near One Cattail, and On One Flower. As our friend the roly-poly reminds us in his introduction, “I have lots of weird neighbors, and remember, weird is interesting.” This entire book is interesting!
— Home School Book Review – Wayne S. Walker (February 2011)
Around One Log by Anthony D. Fredericks is a rhymic story that explores the ecology of a rotting log and the community of creatures that make their home there. The story celebrates the interconnectedness of life on our planet. There is a section of field notes that contain facts about the animal characters in the story as well as a section filled with nature activities and projects.
— Mother Rising – Wendy Cook (March 21, 2011)
I love this little book! The fun rhyming verses provide a great introduction to common forest critters you can find in your own backyard, while also teaching about forest cycles and decomposition. Plus as the story builds, it repeats, which is an excellent instruction technique for young children/ I’d recommend it to any early or elementary educator as a low-cost field trip!
— Jackie Stallard, Manager of Education Programs, Project Learning Tree, American Forest Foundation
Question: What’s under that old log over there? Answer: Let’s take a look! This book introduces children to the wonderful world of small creatures that inhabit the niche of that rotting log that is so often overlooked.
— Liz Roy, National Izaak Walton League of America Environmental Education Eommittee
A lightening storm knocked down a great oak treet to the ground. Slowly patches of moss grew over the log. A community of different animals made it their home such as ants, worms, crickets, beetles, salamander and other creatures came to live there. Year after year, the log continued to rot. Then a clas of students came upon the log. One student asked if the log was alive or dead? Children can learn a lot by reading this book and the field notes in the back about the animals.
— Nashville News – Mary Barrett (November 30, 2011)
Dawn Publications offers wonderful environmental books to help children learn more about the physical world in which we live. Around One Log is written by Anthony D. Fredericks and illustrated by Jenniver DiRubbio. Featured in this book are a rotting log, chipmunks, spiders & creep insiders. This is an echanting way to learn about the different kinds of housing need in natural settings and the creatures who dwell in them.
Dawn Publications’ books offer many bonuses to the great stories and illustrations. Follow-up activities, field notes, projects and ideas for further study are provided. All of these items make them a good book for classroom use as well as for family and individual reading.
— Ellk City Daily News – Dee Ann Ray (May 8, 2011)
This is a very cute, rhyming story about what lives under logs or trees that have fallen down. The story begins with telling how big trees fall down and become logs with various creatures living in it. This is a wonderful learning and teaching experience for ages 4 to 10.
“I loved this book. I never knew so many things could live in a log. We have a huge one in my Papa’s backyard. I liked the pictures because they were very bright. I learned about different creatures and how they made their homes and what they ate. The one I found most interesting was the red mite. I didn’t even know what they were. After I read this story, I got my Papa’s binoculars and a magnifying class and went with him to see what we could find.”
Around One Log was so cute and educational. Zoey must have read it four or five times that first day. She took her notebook so she could record what she saw when searching the backyard log. It is an easy book to read and rhymes so the information is easier to retain.
— Kids Reader Views – Zoey Crane (age 6) and Nana (March 2011)