By popular demand, we have restocked and resumed selling Anna Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study and all 18 of the Audubon Field Guides.
For those who want to do nature study (especially for those inspired by Charlotte Mason), these are invaluable resources.
The late Anna Botsford Comstock was the founder and first head of the Department of Nature Study at Cornell University and the first woman to be appointed to the Cornell faculty. Written originally for elementary school teachers, this book is as valid and helpful today as it was when it was first written in 1911.
Here’s an accolade to her from the Conservation Hall of Fame at the National Wildlife Federation:
“Named one of America’s 12 greatest living women in a 1923 survey by the League of Women Voters, Anna Botsford Comstock was a conservationist before most people knew what the word meant.
Comstock is widely recognized as the mother of nature education. Along with her husband, John, whom she met while she was a student at Cornell University, she formed the Comstock Publishing Company. Its motto: “Nature through Books.” In 1911 the company published Anna’s 900-page Handbook of Nature Study. The now-famous sourcebook for teachers went through 24 editions and was translated into eight languages.
In her book, Comstock emphasized the rewards of direct observation. She was ahead of her time in stressing the importance of natural relationships that work to form what we now call an ecosystem. The point of her approach to nature study, she said, was to “cultivate the child’s imagination, love of the beautiful, and sense of companionship with life out-of-doors.”
Comstock was instrumental in launching a pilot nature study program – the first of its kind in the country – in the schools of Westchester County, New York. In time, the program grew into a nationwide teacher-education program administered by Cornell University and other colleges.
By encouraging instructors to take their students outside to learn, and then helping them see the relationship between people and the natural world, Anna Botsford Comstock left her mark on countless generations.”
Similarly, the 18 Audubon Field Guides are among the best nature resources ever produced. First released over 30 years ago, they are still magnificent. Each is over 800 pages, and each has 200+ color photographs to aid in identification. There are guides on Birds, Trees, Wildflowers, Mushrooms, Insects, Seashells, Rocks, Fossils, and Weather. These are books that we still consult regularly, 20 years after having first purchased them.
The Handbook of Nature Study is a paperback, 887 pages, available direct from Greenleaf Press for $26.00.
Most of the Audubon Field Guides sell for $19.95. A few have been more recently updated and reprinted and sell for $20.95 or $21.95.