Giselle Clarkson

The Observologist: A handbook for mounting very small scientific expeditions

The Observologist_new

A highly illustrated creative guide to the small creatures and the natural wonders we find when we take time to open our eyes to the world around us—and ode to the power of quiet observation.

Try to imagine the weirdest and most impossibly alien creature that could exist on other planets and it’s almost certain it’s an animal here on earth already. And it’s probably very small.

This book puts over 50 small creatures and features of the natural world under the microscope, piquing our curiosity with only the most interesting facts. Subjects range from slugs, ants and seeds, fungi and flies through to bees and bird poop. But this is no everyday catalogue of creatures. It is an antidote to boredom, an encouragement to observe our environment, with care and curiosity, wherever we are. The Observologist is an invitation out of the digital world and into the wonder of what’s right under our noses.

Water snails glide upside down on the undersurface of the water; not all flies have wings; insects have breathing holes called spiracles all over their bodies; butterflies taste with their feet. Facts combine with comics, detailed illustrations, science and funny stories in this unique, warm and fascinating account of the small things all around us.

Giselle Clarkson has a comics and conservation background, and she is a very good looker. Through her unique sensibility you’ll find that once you start thinking small, there’s no limit to what you can notice—right under your nose.

Gecko Press

Children’s Non-Fiction

Original title: The Observologist
Age 7+
120 pp
hc | 200 x 260 mm
Publication: Oct 2023

Author & Illustrator: Giselle Clarkson

Rights sold: Simplified Chinese, Dutch, German, Korean


“Clarkson’s fond factoids and mindful sketches express joy in learning while promoting empathy for tiny creatures, with step-by-step instructions on moving worms out of harm’s way and saving moths from water ‘without accidentally making the situation worse.’ Nature nerds will rejoice in this compendium of creepy-crawlies.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

“The text is full of information and the presentation immensely appealing; this book will have readers sharpening their senses in no time. A charming work sure to spark a lifelong habit of looking closely at the natural world” – Kirkus Reviews – Starred Review

“Vibrant, lively, and imaginative […] deserves a place of honor on every library shelf and will be a valuable asset in classrooms.” – School Library Journal

“The ultimate boredom-buster.” – Books + Publishing

“With wondrous graphic style illustrations, this bok will appeal to a range of ages.” – My Shelves Are Full

“This smashing book is absolutely brimming over with information, whimsical details – verbal and visual.” – Red Reading Hub

“A brilliant blend of factual and hilarious.” – CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education)

“A magnum opus – Giselle has a great ability to see the world from a child’s perspective.” – Radio New Zealand, Jesse Mulligan

“Perfect for curious little souls – her illustrations are quite Quentin Blak like in their movement, in their energy.” – Radio New Zealand, Louise Ward

“Inspirational- not just for budding scientists, this book will open the eyes and catch the imagination of all who read it.” – Love Reading 4 Kids

“What makes it especially awesome is how accessible it is … an absolute delight for readers of every age.” – NZ Booklovers

“There is a lot of science in The Observologist … it’s very funny, too.” NZ Geographic, Catherine Woulffe

“Giselle has exquisitely merged science and whimsy with her characteristic cartoon style accompanying richly detailed text.” – The Sapling

By the same illustrator