Book of November: Nature Anatomy–The Curious Parts & Pieces of the Natural World

As I walked a woodland path late this afternoon, I was thinking about my curiosity. About how much I don’t know, but also, about how much I’ve learned over the course of 50+ years.

And the book of November is written by a woman who shares that insatiable need to learn more. Curiously, though she’s probably half my age and grew up in the Bronx, she spent her childhood “collecting and categorizing shells, studying horseshoe crabs undersides and swallowing salt water.” The same was true for my early years spent scouring the mudflats in Clinton Harbor.

While she continues to live in the city, she discovered nature right outside her apartment door–in Prospect Park. Obviously a labor of love, Julia Rothman, with the help of her friend, John Niekrasz, created Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the Natural World.

NA- cover

It’s a book you could read from cover to cover, but why do that? I like to open to a random page and savor it.

NA- bird chapter

Julia’s voice reminds me of my own. I love the titles of her chapters: Common Ground–about layers of the Earth, minerals, the rock cycle, fossils, landforms, mountains, North American landscapes, field succession and–loose landscape painting. Other chapters: What’s Up; Come Close; Take a Hike; Creature Feature; A Little Bird Told Me and Head Above Water. I won’t tell you what each is about, but you can see that she covers multiple topics within each category.

NA- toads & frogs

It’s as much a joy to read the brief facts as it is to look at the illustrations. Julia is the illustrator, with a little help from her mom.

NA- birds

NA-tree fruits and flowers

NA-Beaver Dam:lodge

This is just a sneak peak at this delightful book which provides a combination of “drawings, diagrams and dissections” to explain the wonders of the natural world. You’ll also find a few art projects and recipes between the covers.

The book ends with a shout-out to conservation organizations. Rothman writes, “No matter where you live, connect with the nature near you in a conscientious way.” Amen.

In many ways, this is the book I wish I could write.

A must have for your bookshelf. I found Nature Anatomy at Bridgton Books.

Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the Natural World, by Julia Rothman with help from John Niekrasz, published 2015, Storey Publishing.

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