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What's in Your Pocket?: Collecting Nature's Treasures    by Heather L. Montgomery order for
What's in Your Pocket?
by Heather L. Montgomery
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Heather L. Montgomery's delightful picture book What's in Your Pocket? : Collecting Nature's Treasures (aimed at ages 4-8) reminds us that 'Every famous scientist was once a curious kid' and then introduces young readers to 'nine budding scientists whose outdoor play led to an lifelong passion.'

Scientists George Washington Carver's early collection of seeds led to his developing ways to grow peanuts in poor soil, plus hundreds of new uses of the peanut. Naturalist William Beebe explored the ocean in a bathysphere. Renowned primatologist Jane Goodall studied chimpanzees. Charles Darwin saw patterns in his collections, leading to his famous theory of evolution.

The book introduces less well known collectors as well - biologist Meg Lowman; herpetologist Diego Cisneros-Heredia; Mary Anning who dug up an ichthyosaur; Maria Sibylla Merian who explained metamorphosis; Bonnie Lei who helped identify a new type of sea slug. We're reminded that 'Every discovery started with just one things. One little thing that could fit in a pocket.'

The author asks young readers 'Where will nature's treasures lead you?', while also reminding them how to collect responsibly and safely.

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