Eye Spy: A Book for the Budding Naturalist

Eye Spy: A Book for the Budding Naturalist

William Hamilton Gibson was an American illustrator, author and naturalist (1850-1896), well-known for his work in Harper’s Monthly. He also wrote several books including Pastoral Days: Or, Memories of New England and Highways and Byways. Eye Spy, — Afield with Nature Among Flowers and Animate Things, first published in 1897, is delightful a compilation of illustrations, short stories, and essays, providing an astounding exploration of the natural world for children and us all! The age of this publication only increases its usefulness. Its topics include:

  • A Naturalist’s Boyhood (which, unusually for the time, addresses itself to both boys and girls!)
  • The Story of the Floundering Beetle
  • Fox Fire
  • A Homely Weed with Interesting Flowers
  • The Fairy Sponges
  • Green Pansies
  • Mr. and Mrs. Tumble-Bug
  • the Horse-hair Snakes
  • Professor Wiggler
  • Cow-spit, Snake-spit and Frog-spit
  • The Paper Wasp and His Doings
  • The Spider’s Span
  • Ballooning Spiders
  • The Lacewing Fly
  • The Perfumed Beetles
  • Mushroom Spore-prints
  • Some Curious Cocoons
  • Nettle-Leaf Tent-Builders
  • The Evening Primrose
  • The Dandelion Burglar
  • The Troubles of the Housefly
  • Tendrils
  • A Strange Story of a Grasshopper
  • Riddles in Flowers
  • Luck in Clovers
  • Barberry Manners
  • A Woolly Flock
  • “What Ails Him?”
  • The Cicada’s Last Song

With its numerous detailed and evocative drawings and photos and a graceful and inviting writing style, Eye Spy is a fun and enjoyable book for the children (or young-at-heart naturalists) in your life to enjoy as a thoughtful window into the mysteries and beauty of the observed natural world.

Eye Spy by William Hamilton Gibson - Book CoverYou may be able to find the original in print format through the Interlibrary Loan Service at your local library. Createspace Independent Publishing Platform recently made a new, affordable print version available by scanning the original, noting “We believe this work is culturally important, and … have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.”

You can also find the original in electronic format for free online at https://archive.org/details/eyespyafieldwith00gibs.

Enjoy!

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