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Creekfinding: A True Story

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  45 reviews
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, an ...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Univ Of Minnesota Press
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  138 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
Rereading for Spring 2018 cli-fi class.

This is one of my favorite books this year (2017), a year in which the Trump administration and Scott Pruitt intend to gut the EPA. So I needed some happier environmental news. A guy bought some land in northern Iowa, and was told by a new neighbor that a creek once ran through it; he said he fished for Brook Trout in it as a kid, but said the creek had been bulldozed over to create more land for crops.

This is the guy that bought the land, Michael Osterhol
Inspiring, factual (read based on a true story, and I do wish that author Jacqueline Briggs Martin had also included suggestions and links for further study and reading in her otherwise excellent author's note on Mike Osterholm, on the main protagonist, the main hero so to speak), I have both massively enjoyed and intensely appreciated Creekfinding, not only because of the end result, a reclaimed, a rediscovered ersthwile existing creek (in a prairie field where the former owner, a farmer, had b ...more
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Trish by: David Schaafsma
This inspirational child's storybook for ages 5-9 features the beauty of the natural world plus animals and big earth-moving equipment! Even parents are guaranteed to enjoy this one. The story is true, of a scientist who had heard the land upon which he lived once had a creek but had been bulldozed flat to make larger corn fields. The mind boggles at the necessity for this travesty.

He found photographs of the land in the time before and when an old man told him he'd fished the stream for brook
Jul 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! Inspiring, hopeful, beautiful. It tells the true story of Dr. Michael Osterholm's dream and (successful) efforts to restore an old farmed field to native prairie and bring back the stream that once ran through it. Wonderful! Like the author, I love stories about "finding and fixing" especially when it has to do with the environment. I hope many readers will experience this story and feel encouraged to do whatever they can in their own backyards and beyond. (Note: it was really intere ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A librarian recommended this to me and it was definitely a fascinating read of how one man reclaimed his land to bring it back into its natural state. This is perfect to show readers there are all types of ways to be a hero and save the world- in this case, taking care of nature.
Tessa McMillan
Many years ago, a creek ran through the Iowan countryside. It teamed with fish and insects attracting local wildlife to the creek’s plentiful banks. All that changed when a farmer bought the acreage and bulldozed the creek away from its natural course. For years the land was farmed until a new owner, Mike, bought the property. Mike wanted to restore the parcel to its original wildness by bringing back the creek. Many thought Mike’s plans were foolish, but he moved forward confident in his vision ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I never knew that you could restore a creek once it had been plowed or bulldozed under. Fascinating! If you restore it, they will come back—and they did, all the birds, insects, frogs, fish, and other animals that used to live in or by the creek. Of course, for this to happen, the rocky bottom and some of the plants had to be replaced by Mike and his helpers, and they also had to reintroduce the brook trout. The illustrator notes at the back of the book that she visited what is now known as Broo ...more
Becky B
The true story of how a man bought an old farm, decided to turn part of the land into a wildflower field and then learned from older locals that there used to be a creek running through the field. He decided to try and restore the creek despite many telling him it wouldn't work. But it did work, and this book tells kids how Mike and his friends made that happen.

A fascinating story of how creeks can be buried and then restored. In the back of the book is a note from Mike, the man who did this. He
A nice digestible kid's story about an ecosystem and habitat restoration. I think this story definitely has a place in classrooms, and I think we could use it for class visits that include the green roof. I like Claudia McGehee's scratchboard illustrations -- she really captured the liveliness of the prairie. One thing about the text I don't particularly care for is that it's divided into small titled sections. It makes reading it aloud really clunky. BUT one thing I LOVE about the text is that ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classroom-use
I really enjoyed this book as something different. It tells the story of a man who excavated a creek that used to run through the prairie land but was destroyed years before to be farm land. It is a neat story to tell in the environments unit for science when we talk about how habitats can be destroyed and what happens. Along with the story we tell of how the salmon are returning to the Nowrthwest because of the dams that harmed that natural ecosystem, this is another great book to share the sto ...more
This is a fantastic picture book; it would make a great read aloud.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
We enjoyed this clear but simple book about a buried creek that was "rediscovered" and brought back to life with the help of other people and some big machines. It's a nice way to introduce kids to the concept of ecology, and to encourage us to take care of the natural resources we have. In my mind it also ties in with the end of The Lorax, the last line of which reads, "Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back." Though on a much smaller scale, this book paints a picture of a restored ...more
Wow. I can't believe this was based on a true story in Iowa. The story of one man's dream to find a lost creek and restore an ecosystem can teach small children the impact our decisions have on the land, both negative and positive. Further, the story teaches us nature doesn't restore over night; it takes hard work, patience, and time. ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lively language and beautiful, bright art tell the story of reclaiming a creek in a way that is both scientifically sound (food chain! creekbed engineering! etc! but with plain words) and engaging for quite young kids. I'm impressed! ...more
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
True story of a man who learned of a lost creek and how he was able to restore it.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
This picture book about the restoration of a filled in creek to a thriving ecosystem is super darling. I particularly love the illustration style.
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tells the story of a creek that was covered up by a farmer wanting more field, being rebuilt by a new owner of the land, from creek bed and rocks, through plants, insects, birds and animals.
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a true story for kids that explains how a lost ecosystem in Iowa was brought back to life.

At the start of the book we get introduced to Mike, who wanted to grow a prairie in an old cornfield he bought. A neighbor told him there used to be a creek there. Mike wanted to find it and got excavators to scrape the ground to where the creek bottom used to be. Before long, water seeped in and filled it up. Then he had a new problem:

“ . . . a creek isn’t just water. It’s plants, rocks, bugs, fish
It’s an inspiring story by Jacqueline Briggs Martin (Snowflake Bentley, Farmer Will Allen and The Growing Table, among others) of a man named Mike who moves to some land and discovers that where he wanted to restore a corn field back to a prairie, he was told there had been a creek. Through years of work, he searched and found it, and Brook Creek is born again. Gorgeous scratchboard and painted illustrations by Claudia McGehee show the journey, the ripples and new life returning to the creek re ...more
Beautiful illustrations. Would be a great group read aloud for k - 3, more one on one with younger kids as there is so much to take in. There is smaller text on many of the pages with more information that the kids could look at later. Would be great for a lesson plan on ecology or the environment. Many conversation starters, Why was the creek filled in? How best to find it again, how to actually do it? Why is it important? How long did it take? etc. Tons of vocabulary words. A great title to pe ...more
Ames Public Library Youth Services
A beautiful true story about a farmer who figured out there was a creek under his property and exerted great effort to find the creek and help it to flourish again, to the point where it now sustains brook trout and many other species. The book itself is beautiful, too, with scratchboard etchings and watercolor vibrantly telling the story.

Readers who love nature will love this book!

Anastasia Tuckness
A beautiful true story about a farmer who figured out there was a creek under his property and exerted great effort to find the creek and help it to flourish again, to the point where it now sustains brook trout and many other species. The book itself is beautiful, too, with scratchboard etchings and watercolor vibrantly telling the story.

Readers who love nature will love this book!
Mary Lee
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book. Humans don't have to be the ones who wreck the earth and make it uninhabitable. We can be the ones to help Earth heal. The guy who restored this creek is a real person. Famous for what he knows about public health and infectious diseases, but also "passionate about the prairie, cold water streams, brook trout, and partnering with the earth." ...more
Tracy Holland
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The true story of the retrieval of a creek is retold through words and pictures. Brook Creek had been eliminated by a farmer who wanted the land for crops. Michael Osterholm buys the land, and discovers the creek. His story of returning the creek to the land is retold through this book.
Miss Sarah
A moving upper level picture book about a man retoring a creek that has been buried. lots of science and non fiction facts mixed in.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
I liked it a lot. Great detail.
Seema Rao
A true story about the rediscovery of a creek and the way it is restored. Paired with hand-colored scratchboard illustrations.
James Westerfield
-This book received the Riverby Award and the Green Earth Book Award in 2018.

-2nd-3rd Grade

-Creekfinding is a true story about a man discovering a lost creek that has been buried under cornfields. His mission was to restore the creek to its former nature and also teaches readers more about creeks and what inhabits it, like fish, bugs, and its visitors, like birds. This book also shows how this man went through a lot of effort and teamwork to help make a creek more visible, and basically a creek
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For those of us living in the state of Michigan we are familiar with the power found in the things for which we have no control. Many, if not most, of our inland lakes and the five Great Lakes were formed during the last glacial period. Also as a part of the solar system our planet is subject to the effects of the sun and the forces of nature each and every day.

For any number of reasons changes to our landscapes happen, too, due to human interference. Creekfinding: A True Story (University of Mi
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great illustrations by Claudia McGehee! She does a spectacular job! While I loved Martin's book on Snowflake Bentley this story of Osterholm did not quite match up. Never the less, the story provides a lot of information for children about the world around them and how nature can recover from adverse situations. ...more
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