Written and illustrated by Lindsay Barrett George
Greenwillow Books, 1995
American Bookseller Pick of the Lists
Children’s Literature Award
Come follow the trail with William and Cammy.
Clue after clue tells them what animal has been there before.
Join them in a journey of discovery.
"As it graphically portrays the subtleties of nature’s treasure house, this handsome book will likely hone youngsters’ sensitivities to hidden signs of life."—Publisher’s Weekly
"Large, brilliant, lifelike illustrations are George’s trademark. Here her gouache paintings provide the pleasure of a game while giving youngsters the enjoyment of a nature walk. Cammy and William explore the woods on an autumn afternoon and on successive pages notice such things as an empty nest, a gnawed branch, feathers, and bones. Each observation prompts the question, “Who’s been here?” Turning the page reveals the answer in both a closeup double-page spread and descriptive text. The last object the youngsters find is a picnic basket: a surprise from their father. The forest scenes are vivid and unsoftened: some of the creatures who have “been there” became meals for others. The last page provides more information about the featured creatures and the flora and fauna surrounding them. This book invites repeated perusal. It’s an ideal title for primary-grade nature study that could sharpen the perception of any child going on a woodland field trip. The large print and generous pages make it an excellent choice for group sharing."—School Library Journal
"Siblings William and Cammy set off on an autumnal walk through the woods near their house. Although they don’t see any wildlife on their trek, they do observe traces of creatures’ activities—including a northern oriole’s nest, the remains of a red squirrel’s meal, a monarch butterfly’s cocoon, and a mud dauber’s home. Succinct text explains the evidence the children note, ending with the question “Who’s been here?” The following double-page spread provides the answer; detailed notes on the habits of these animals are appended. Children will be drawn to George’s vivid gouache paintings, especially those depicting the animals in their natural surroundings. Two of the examples involve predator-prey relationships that may upset very young listeners, but for most children this will be an excellent introduction to classroom nature units and the perfect prelude to a walk in the woods."—Booklist
"Take a walk in the autumn woods with a boy and his younger sister as they discover clues to the animals who have been there. A pouch-like nest is spied high in the branches of a wild cherry tree. “Who’s been here?” Turn the page to find a northern (Baltimore) oriole perched beside three hungry nestlings. A pinecone stripped of its seeds is left on a ledge-a shy red squirrel munching dinner appears on the next pages. The author, known for her previous work illustrating the Long Pond books, treats us again to her meticulously detailed, photo-like paintings. The woodland scenes, viewed first by the children, then brought into close-range focus, afford views of nature that are truly irresistible."—Children’s Literature