The Observologist

The Observologist
Age Range
Release Date
February 06, 2024
Buy This Book
Observology is the study of looking. An observologist makes scientific expeditions, albeit very small ones, every day. They notice interesting details in the world around them. They are expert at finding tiny creatures, plants, and fungi. They know that water snails glide upside down on the undersurface of the water; not all flies have wings; earthworms have bristles; butterflies taste with their feet. An observologist knows that there are extraordinary things to be found in even the most ordinary places.

The Observologist puts more than 100 small creatures and features of the natural world under the microscope, piquing our curiosity with only the most interesting facts. Subjects range from slugs, ants, and seeds to fungi, flies, bees, and bird poop.

But this is no everyday catalog of creatures. It is an antidote to boredom, an invitation out of the digital world and screentime, an encouragement to observe our environment, with care and curiosity, wherever we are.

Facts combine with comics, detailed illustrations, science, and funny stories in this unique, warm, and fascinating account of the small things all around us. Graphic and comic illustrations with funny talking insects make this a playful and informative book one to be treasured in the classroom.

Editor review

1 review
Fun information about small, creepy creatures
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
What worked:
The author speaks directly to young readers in a light-hearted voice as she shares facts about tiny, common creatures. This technique helps to create a connection between the book and young readers. They’ll like that the book suggests they look down by their feet (maybe even lie on the ground), be curious and patient, and flip over rocks and wet logs. The topics are organized into four groups based on where they can be found. Kids can look in Damp Corners (slugs, fungi, and lice), around Pavement (ants, lichen, and worms), in Weedy Patches (bees, caterpillars, and wasps), and Behind the Curtains (cockroaches, moths, and spiders). Other random information is described that readers might not think about. They can learn how to safely move a spider, how to save a moth from drowning, or how to recognize insects by their sounds. The final pages include an index where readers can locate specific topics.
Color sketches, comics, and diagrams help young readers visualize the information being shared. An illustration of a fruit fly shows its “striking red eyes” and “handsomely tiger striped abdomen” as the fly says its elderly granny is “twenty days old”. Other diagrams point out body parts found on ants and earthworms. Kids can also see how millipedes and centipedes differ and how to tell apart common wasps and honey bees. A short comic strip depicts how a spider traps its prey. Many young readers like gross things so how about including drawings of different bird poop to tell which birds made them? One page displays the droppings from worms, roaches, and spiders while a variety of tiny eggs are shown on another. Everyone knows spiders have eight eyes but readers can see different possibilities of their pattern. The “hand-written” captions accompanying every illustration are very informative without being overly serious.
What didn’t work as well:
Some readers might not appreciate all of the topics or the more serious information but it’s better to be thorough than leave interesting things out. If you don’t like reading about slimy, creepy things then my recommendation is to deal with it! This is a fun book to read.
The final verdict:
I just realized this could be a good book for bathroom reading in addition to an entertaining resource for school. The casual voice of the narrator makes the information easy to read and enjoyable. Overall, I highly recommend you give this book a shot!
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