Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs

School Library Journal - May 2016

[T]he reprise "Something had been there. Something had done that” appears with each example, giving the story a running thread and demonstrating that just because one hasn’t spotted the animal, that doesn’t mean it is not nearby. For instance, bark stripped from trees is evidence that snowshoe hares have made their mark and large ovals of matted grass mark the place where a moose has napped. Bright illustrations of the children’s hike accompany the text and offer readers an idea of what the tracks look like. This book would work best in conjunction with examples of local wildlife and animal signs. Back matter includes additional facts, games, and animal statistics. VERDICT This nonfiction picture book would supplement elementary nature and animal lessons well.–Lindsay Jensen, Nashville Public Library

Kids Book Buzz - March 2016

I really liked Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs because it showed different ways to see if an animal has been there. I have learned about animal scat, which is another sign that an animal has been there. When I go on hikes, or mountain biking, I like to look for animal tracks. I loved that the illustrations showed the animals leaving the signs. I liked the extra pages at the back of the book which taught more about each animal, how to make a cast of a track, and even animal signs matching game.
-Jewel Age 8

Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries Review - March 2016

Cole and Helena explore the woods looking for animals by following their tracks and trails. Each page shows a different mark left by a different animal. The end of the book has some great activities for kids to explore the world around them. Recommended for ages 7-10.

Heck of a Bunch - February 2016

Been There, Done That tells of two friends, Cole and Helena, who walk through the woods looking for animals. Cole has seen plenty of birds, but not much else. During their walk, Helena points to trees, grass, and other parts of nature to show that something had "been there, done that".

This is a story of what markers or signs can be found in nature to determine what wildlife had been there. Not only does it illustrate what specific clues Helena discovered, it also tells of which animal had been to that specific spot and why.

Bambini Travel - January 2016

This book reminds me of the first time I ever went on a hike with a naturalist. Their ability to turn a seemingly empty forest into a world full of animals through insightful observation was seemingly magical. In Been There Done That, two children go on a walk in the woods together. Cole doesn't see any animals, but Helena is watchful and perceptive about the small changes to the environment that indicate "something had been there." Easily read as an interesting story or used as a launch pad for your own scientific discoveries, Been There Done That is a fascinating adventure in the woods. 3+

Bookloons - May 2016

Becoming more observant and being able to spot animal signs when enjoying a trek in the forest is what this book centers on. Cole and his friend Helena enjoy an outdoor adventure and, thanks to her knowledge of wildlife, Helena is able to enhance the day's outing by explaining various animal signs the duo encounter. From finding where a bear digs a hole chasing a ground squirrel to where moose have reclined in the tall grass in a meadow, the children discover that if they know what to look for, they can learn a lot about what happens in this portion of the woods. Four pages of learning activities enhance this little book and will help make your budding naturalist an even more discerning observer of his or her natural surroundings.

Alli Harvey, Our Wild America Alaska Campaign Rep, Sierra Club - July 2016

"Been There, Done That" is beautifully written and illustrated, featuring two kids at the center of exploring the outdoors in what feels like a very real and matter of fact way. The book starts with skepticism--a young visitor asks his friend "where are your wild animals?". The boy says he's only seen birds since the start of his visit. His host gently helps him see what surrounds them both during a walk in the woods. The book quickly moves into noticing signs of many wild animals in the landscape, using the "been there, done that" trope to indicate how creatures leave clues about their activities behind. A bear, fox, beaver, eagle and more are not seen firsthand by the boy and girl; but rather evidence the creatures have left behind. The signs go beyond prints and scat, and are both mysterious and richly illustrated in such a way that the clues could be easily identified in the outdoors after reading this book (some helpful exercises at the end reinforce this). It's easy to get lost in exploring the pages, and the book is really an inspiring call to explore the outdoors and take deeper notice of the signs of creatures all around us, but the story invites us to take one step further in thinking about human impact as well. What do we leave behind when we've "been there, done that"? This book encourages children both to observe the outdoors in a deeper way to take note of animal signs more subtle than flapping wings, and also gently helps them to think about themselves and the signs they leave behind. What a wonderful read at an important time for all kids and adults who wish to foster a deeper connection to the outdoors.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine - July 2016

"My daughters and I read this book aloud together and did some of the activities in the back. My girls are 6 and 7, and this book was at just the right level of writing and detail to keep them interested. I loved that it was a fairly quick read with fun illustrations, but it was also chock full of information. This book would work for most kinds of learners—auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. It’s also ideal for Charlotte Mason homeschoolers who would like to observe in nature what they learn through this book."

The Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Books

Beautiful watercolor illustrations accompany clear crisp text. Further information is provided at the end of the book.