Summer is the ideal time to hand this guide over to the 5- to 9-year-old neighborhood (or nature center) explorer. Despite an occasionally cautionary tone ("You need a grownup along for safety"), Jim Arnosky's picture book celebrates the "smallest of streams" that often fascinate children. Resembling a nature notebook, the illustrations in light-filled blues, yellows, and greens highlight such information as the geographic origins of brooks, creatures you'll find in them and nearby, and ideas for investigating such "inviting places."
In an author's note, Arnosky says that The Brook Book (Dutton, 2008) "is organized in such a way as to help you get the most out of your class visit to a favorite brook," but kids don't need to begin their journey at school to enjoy reading and gleaning some inspiration from this one. As the author says, "[A brook] quenches your thirst for nature in its wildest form."
Children's book author Anastasia Suen collects reviews of nonfiction titles on Mondays; see her Picture Book of the Day for a variety of reading suggestions.