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Publishers Weekly Children's Features

New Series of Field Guides for Children
-- 5/18/98
Scholastic Reference and the National Audubon Society have developed a line of field guides intended for family use.

The National Audubon Society First Field Guides series debuts this month with four titles, all available in hardcover ($17.95) and paperback ($10.95), and illustrated with full-color photographs.

According to Wendy Barish, editorial director of Scholastic Reference and Gallimard Publishing, these are the first field guides designed for young readers, ages eight and up, that provide the same detailed information available in guides published for adults. Each book has a general overview of one subject area, an identification section and a spotter's guide that helps users identify living things in their natural environments. In addition, the small size and vinyl-coated covers may make them attractive to children (for portability) and to parents (for keeping clean).

Scholastic plans to publish four additional guides each year, two per season. Barish said the program started with subjects the two organizations felt were most interesting to young readers (birds, insects, wildflowers, rocks and minerals), but will expand to "just about everything that can be identified."
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