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Bill Ivy

Toronto, Stewart House, 1990. 114pp, cloth, $29.95
ISBN 1-895246-11-3. CIP

Grades 6 and up/Ages 11 and up
Reviewed by Jon Wright.

Volume 19 Number 3
1991 May

Bill Ivy, known to many for his books on natural history (A Little Wilderness; The Natural History of Toronto and several titles in the "Getting to Know Nature's Children" series) and his wildlife photography, has produced a handsome personal book depicting nearly eighty kinds of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, plants and fungi that he photographed and observed near Ontario's Algonquin Park.

The photographs and descriptions of his subjects are arranged chronologi­cally rather than by subject, following the progression of the seasons. Several different subjects are featured each month in varying degrees of detail. His observations of each subject usually give a basic physical description (with both metric and imperial measurements provided), but often include interesting facts about the animal's courting, parenting and territorial behaviour, brood size and frequency, survival instincts and adaptations, and history. He indicates which species are endan­gered, and relates the folklore associated with some of the subjects that he has chosen. As well, he describes the challenges he faced in obtaining some of the photographs, and includes a page of tips for the aspiring wildlife photogra­pher. All subjects are identified by their common and scientific names.

The photographs for the most part are beautiful and remarkable, and will appeal to anyone who enjoys natural history and wildlife photography. Unfortunately, some of the photographs are too small to be fully appreciated for their artistic merit. There is an index to the photographs, but no general index. It includes a page of reference to Canadian and North American field guides and to books about the natural history of Canada and Ontario.

Close to Home will be of interest to amateur naturalists, conservationists and wildlife photographers, and would be a useful supplement to natural history, ecology or photography collections, and for general and environ­mental science courses at the Intermedi­ate division level.

Optional purchase.

Jon Wright, John F. Ross C.V.I.,Guelph, Ont.
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