Booklist - Out of School and Into Nature
In this picture-book biography, the life of naturalist, artist, and education reformer Anna Comstock is told with easy-to-follow facts, Comstock’s own words, and charming illustrations. Comstock was born in 1854, and instead of taking the traditional route for women at the time, she went to college to study “her first love—nature.” Comstock’s illustrations and engravings were used to teach farmers about insects, and she started a teacher education program designed to bring children outside. While the text reads a bit like a story, interspersed quotes from Comstock root it in reality. Though not many will be familiar with Comstock, her story is told with such warmth and admiration that people will be rooting for her the entire time. Lanan’s pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are done with loving attention to detail; young nature lovers in particularly might delight in the close-up details on different bugs. This sweet biography is perfect for fans of Patrick McDonnell’s Me . . . Jane (2011), or any child who relishes the feeling of mud squishing between their toes.