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Creekfinding: A True Story
by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Illustrated by Claudia McGehee
University of Minnesota Press, 2017. ISBN-13/EAN: 978-0816698028; $16.95


Creekfinding

From the publisher University of Minnesota Press:

Once upon a time a creek burbled up and tumbled across a prairie valley. It was filled with insects and brook trout that ate them, frogs that chirruped and birds watching for bugs and fish. This is a true story about a man named Mike who went looking for that creek long after it was buried under fields of corn. It is the story of how a creek can be brought back to life, and with it a whole world of nature.

In the words of award-winning author Jacqueline Briggs Martin and the enchanting illustrations by Claudia McGehee, this heartening tale of an ecosystem restored in the Driftless Area of northeast Iowa unfolds in a way that will charm and inform young readers who are drawn to a good mystery, the wonders of nature -- and, of course, big earth-moving machines.


Curriculum Connections:


Read more about nature and the out-of-doors: a bibliography of books about nature. Learn about the environment, bogs and butterflies, gardening and bird watching, the wilderness and the tall grass prairie. And more books by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and by Claudia McGehee.

Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Claudia McGehee, Mike OsterholmThe story of Michael Osterholm's recovery of the creek on his farmland calls to mind the recovery of salmon creeks in the northwest. Other books that might be read in conjunction with Creekfinding activities are listed in an excellent article/guide published in Bookology: Children's Literature.
Bookstorm ™: Creekfinding. (2017) Bookology Children's Literature. Retrieved from http://www.bookologymagazine.com/article/bookstorm-creekfinding/

The article has links to an eleven page curriculum guide:
Palmquist, Vicki. Bookstorm™ Creekfinding: a True Story. Created for Winding Oak: Children's Literature. The guide is copyright 2017 but may be copied for educational use, but may not be reprinted or re-sold for commercial purposes. bookologymagazine.com.

Links to the guide and interviews regarding the book, with Jacquline Briggs Martin, and with Claudia McGehee are available as part of the Bookology article at http://www.bookologymagazine.com/article/bookstorm-creekfinding/.

Jacqueline Briggs Martin at Brook CreekJackie at Brook Creek



Reviews/Comments:


An Excerpt/Summary

When Michael Osterholm learned that a creek had once run under his farmland, he determined to restore it. Following old photographs and using heavy machinery to uncover the original bed and add stones to the bottom, he then planted grasses, providing the necessary ingredients for the creek to thrive again.
"The excavator had found the old stream./ Would water fill the path?/ Mike said the water remembered./ It seeped in from the sides... burbled into holes, filled the creek." ~ Creekfinding by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

An Article - with the backstory

Trainor, Genevieve. (3 Mar 2017) Prairie Lights hosts a launch party for 'Creekfinding,' a true Iowa tale turned storybook. Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Little Village Magazine.


Spotlight Review

"The main narrative reads smoothly aloud, and the pictures, though detailed, should show well to a small group. ... Although Osterholm and the restorers appear to be white in the illustrations, a multiracial group is shown enjoying the restored creek at the end. Author's and illustrator's notes and a comment from the actual creek rescuer complete the package. A heartening story of environmental restoration." -- Kirkus Reviews

"[a] book that celebrates the thoughtful restoration of a prairie." -- Booklist

"A delightful picture book." -- Cabin Living Magazine

"Eloquent narrative nonfiction to inspire the future caretakers of our planet."—School Library Journal

"Elaborate scratchboard etchings and a lyrical narrative tell of a creek's rebirth in northeastern Iowa....The story springs to life through Martin's buoyant, personified language. McGehee's (North Woods Girl) vibrant, stylized illustrations show nearly smiling fish, birds, and insects populating their new environment." -- Publishers Weekly

"Chronicling the true story of one man's quest to revive a stream rumored to have run through the prairies of Iowa, Jacqueline Briggs Martin relates the trials and triumphs in Creekfinding, a return to nature that proves that 'a creek isn't just water.'"— Foreword Reviews


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