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Children's Nonfiction General

Be a Wilderness Detective

by (author) Peggy Kochanoff

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
May 2013
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2013
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3


Why is that tree lumpy? How do insects stay alive in the winter? What are tides, anyway? In Be a Wilderness Detective, biologist and artist Peggy Kochanoff answers these and many more questions. With simple language and beautifully accurate paintings, Kochanoff walks young readers through many nature puzzles, including identifying different types of animal poop and understanding how maple trees can be tapped without being harmed. Clear, precise, and engaging, Be a Wilderness Detective is the perfect book for budding naturalists—and it will also convince couch potatoes to get outside. Science and nature have never been more fun!

About the author

“Peggy Kochanoff graduated from Cornell University with a degree in vertebrate zoology and spent a summer working at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. She is the author and illustrator of several books for children, including Be a Beach Detective and Be a Wilderness Detective, which was shortlisted for a Silver Birch Express Award. After marriage and travelling, she settled with her husband and two sons on a tree farm in Nova Scotia.

Peggy Kochanoff's profile page


  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards (English Non-fiction)
  • Short-listed, Shortlisted for Ontario Library Association Silver Birch Express Award for Non-fiction

Editorial Reviews

Young naturalists will find plenty of information about Canadian fields, woods and coastlines in this engaging nonfiction book. Topics covered include scat, galls, tortoise bugs, animal hibernation, tree rings, lichens, maple sap, fireflies, tides and sandpipers. Each chapter answers a question that is posed in child-friendly language: "Do you know what those weird growths on some plants are?" The clearly written explanations that follow also have a conversational tone. Children are encouraged to explore and engage with their surroundings. As Peggy Kochanoff says in her introduction, "You can try to solve some of the mysteries in nature. Often found as close as your own doorstep. All you need is curiosity and Patience. LOOK, LISTEN, SMELL and TOUCH”. Exceptional job on the illustrations and factual data! We are greatly anticipating using what we learned from this book on our many hikes and camping trips. Children of all ages will surely enjoy" Be a Wilderness Detective" - it is fun to read and an awesome learning resource for both children and adults alike.

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