AWARDS: AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize - Commended Book 2016
Bank Street College of Education - Best Books of the Year 2016
One cold, rainy, spring night, a young girl and her scientist father participate in “Salamander Night” to follow hundreds of spotted salamanders as they venture into a vernal pool to mate and lay eggs. Together, the father-child team studies the salamanders through their complete amphibian metamorphosis, culminating in the adult salamanders' disappearance into the woods in late summer. In easy-to-understand text, the girl relates the tale through her illustrated, photographic journal.
Vetters: Thanks to the following experts for verifying the information in this book: J. Adam Frederick, Maryland Sea Grant, Asst. Director of Education at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology and Dr. Ryan Kerney, Assistant Professor of Biology at Gettysburg College. As an organismal biologist, Dr. Kerney specializes in the ecology, evolution and development of amphibians.
Science Books & Films - December 2015
"Salamander Season expands upon the journal of a young girl and her scientist father to capture a multi-dimensional view of a species, the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum. Seamlessly woven in are: information on local conservation actions for salamanders and their habitat- vernal pools; a timeline for salamander development; the idea of becoming a scientist; annual cycle; food webs; and more... The book is as advertised on the cover â€œa fun-to-read story and a launch pad for discussions and learning."--Diane Bellis, Science /Environment Associates, Palestine, WV
Children's Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review-March 2015
"Salamander Season is an educational children's picturebook about the life cycle of salamanders, ubiquitous amphibians that lay eggs in water, and undergo metamorphosis as they grow into adults. As a boy and his scientist father watch the salamanders mature, the father teaches the boy all about these amazing animals. Simple, colorful artwork illustrates the main story; an additional "For Creative Minds" offer more detailed information about the salamanders and environmental biologists who study them, and color photographs. Highly recommended, especially for schools and public library nonfiction collections."
Horn Book Guide - October 2015
A girl and her scientist father find salamanders in a vernal pool; for five months, she records what she and her dad observe about two hatchlings they bring to the lab("since Dad is a scientist"). A scrapbook-like design includes color photos of varying quality and amateurish drawings. More information about salamanders and the work of biologists is appended.
"If you are interested in learning about salamanders, then you should definitely read the book called Salamander Season by Jennifer Keats Curtis, J. Adam Frederick, and Shennen Bersani. The story is about a young girl who takes part in something called "Salamander Night." The main characters are this girl and her father, who is a scientist, and they follow salamanders to learn about them. They learn about the salamanders over months as they grow and change. The girl explains, "Since Dad is a scientist, he takes two salamanders back to his lab to study." The illustrations in the book are a mixture of photographs and drawings. I was surprised that a bunch of salamander eggs could be so firm! "As the spotted salamanders grow, they change color and darken." My favorite part was when the salamanders got big enough to crawl around. I think young people who like salamanders and anything about nature are going to enjoy this book. It's very special because the little girl gets to be with her daddy on Salamander Night. My daddy is a scientist, too!"
"Salamander Season shows both realistic and juvenile, undeveloped illustrations of salamanders. It's a good teaching tool for children to learn the life process and behaviors of salamanders. The "For Creative Minds" section in the back of the book enlightens children on Salamander Classification, Spotted Salamander Life Cycle Sequencing, and Salamander Nights. There's also a page that talks about the author's experiences as an Environmental Biologist."
"You get to follow the adventure of a young girl learning about salamanders in the wild with her dad who is a scientist. The neat thing about this book is the mix of real photography and illustrations. After reading this to my daughter a few times I realize I didn't know anything about salamanders. Big Sis really likes these "mixed stories" books."
"What I like about this book: It gives a real up-close-and-personal view of salamander life. We see hungry predators and the young salamanders taking action to avoid becoming salamander snacks. The book is laid out like a journal, with entries describing what happens throughout the salamander season. It's illustrated with a combination of child-like drawings and photos ... very much like what you'd find in your kid's nature journal."
"This is a well-done book teaching a young child in terms and pictures they can understand the scientific life-cycle of the Spotted Salamander. Father and daughter stroll through the evening and discover yellow spotted salamanders crossing the asphalt road and going to a vernal pool."
In easy-to-understand text, the girl relates the tale through her illustrated, photographic journal.Great fr grades K-3! For Creative Minds includes: Salamander Classification, Salamander Nights and An Environmental Biologist.
Children's Literature Review, University of Dayton SEHS
Great reference for classification of animals, but also conversation starter about research.
Puget Sound Council for the Review of Books
Want to demonstrate the scientific processes of observation and recording data? Here's a great book for you. A fictional young girl and her scientist father visit a spotted salamander pond over a year's time. Illustrations and photographs show the life cycle of the spotted salamander. This is a down-to-earth approach to natural science and is personalized by the story. The photographs are excellent and clearly show various stages in the salamander's growth from egg to adult. It was quite fascinating, and made it seem very possible for a child to duplicate a similar process keeping a nature journal. End pages provide further information as well as a flow chart that can be used to determine if an animal is a mammal, reptile, fish, or amphibian. This clear presentation of salamander information, as well as how a scientist acquires data, would be a valuable resource for those teaching young scientists.
Vermont Country Sampler
"Not all signs of spring are obvious, so don't be surprised if you are driving home one night and see volunteers by the roadside on "Salamander Night" urging you to slow down or stop so that hundreds of spotted salamanders can be helped across the roadway to vernal pools to breed and lay eggs. The had been in the woods under logs and other debris since the end of last summer and now beginning their mating and breeding ritual. In Salamander Season by Jennifer Keats Curtis, J. Adam Frederick and Shennen Bersani a father-child team study this amphibian metamorphosis as related by the girl through her illustrated, photographic text.