Picture of author.

Herbert Spencer Zim (1909–1994)

Author of Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification

152+ Works 22,898 Members 105 Reviews

About the Author

Herbert S. Zim was born in 1909 in New York City. He was a naturalist, author, editor and also known as the fonder and editor in chief of the Golden Guides series of nature books. Zim wrote or edited more than one hundred scientific books, and in a thirty-year career teaching in the public schools show more introduced laboratory instruction into elementary school science. He is best known as the founder in 1945, of the Golden Guides, pocket-size introductions for children to such subjects as fossils, zoology, microscopy, rocks and minerals, codes and secret writings, trees, wildflowers, dinosaurs, navigation and more. He was the sole or co-author for many of the books, which were valued for their clarity, accuracy and attractive presentation helped by the illustrations of James Gordon Irving. He continued to work on the Golden Guides series until Alzheimer's disease forced him to slow down in the 1990s. He died in 1994 at Plantation Key, Florida. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: via hobbydb.com


Works by Herbert Spencer Zim

Mammals: A Guide to Familiar American Species (1955) — Author — 766 copies
Codes and Secret Writing (1948) 216 copies
Botany (1970) 103 copies
Snakes (1949) 94 copies
Orchids (1970) 92 copies
The Great Whales (1951) 75 copies
Alligators and Crocodiles (1952) 69 copies
Ostriches (1964) 58 copies
Frogs and Toads (1950) 51 copies
Owls (1950) 46 copies
What's Inside of Me? (1952) 35 copies
Lightning and Thunder (1952) 35 copies
What's Inside of Animals? (1953) 32 copies
Golden Hamsters (1951) 31 copies
Homing Pigeons (1949) 30 copies
The universe (1964) 29 copies
Parrakeets; (1953) 29 copies
What's Inside of Plants? (1952) 29 copies
Blood (1968) 28 copies
Bones (1969) 28 copies
Monkeys (1955) 27 copies
The Big Cats (1955) 27 copies
Comets (1956) 27 copies
What's Inside of Engines? (1953) 24 copies
The Sun (1953) 24 copies
Corals (1966) 23 copies
Dinosaurs (1954) 23 copies
Elephants (1946) 23 copies
What's Inside the Earth? (1953) 23 copies
Your Heart and How it Works (1959) 23 copies
Sea Stars and Their Kin (1976) 22 copies
Rabbits (1948) 21 copies
Snails (1975) 20 copies
Metric measure (1974) 20 copies
Crabs (1974) 19 copies
Shooting Stars (1958) 19 copies
Armored Animals (1971) 17 copies
Waves (1967) 16 copies
The New Moon (1980) 15 copies
Mexico (1969) 15 copies
Goldfish (1947) 14 copies
Diamonds (1959) 14 copies
Sharks (1966) 13 copies
Tractors (1972) 12 copies
Caves and Life (1978) 12 copies
Life and Death (1970) 10 copies
Machine Tools (1969) 10 copies
Little Cats (1978) 9 copies
Quartz (1981) 9 copies
Submarines (1942) 9 copies
Trucks (1970) 8 copies
Your food and you (1957) 8 copies
Cargo Ships (1970) 7 copies
Things Around the House (1954) 7 copies
Medicine (1974) 7 copies
Commercial Fishing (1973) 6 copies
Rockets and Jets (1945) 6 copies
Our Wonderful World (1966) 5 copies
Parachutes (1943) 4 copies
Your Skin (1979) 4 copies
How things grow 2 copies
How things grow 2 copies
Hoists, Cranes, and Derricks (1969) — Author — 1 copy
Eating places (1975) 1 copy
Crabs 1 copy
Cargo Ships — Author — 1 copy
Planets 1 copy
Parrakeets 1 copy

Associated Works

Exploring the World Around Us (Childcraft) (1949) — Contributor — 42 copies


animals (462) astronomy (215) biology (297) birding (93) birds (856) botany (237) butterflies (108) field guide (1,174) field guides (431) fish (106) flowers (100) fossils (107) geology (232) Golden Guide (373) Golden Nature Guide (105) guide (205) guidebook (245) identification (138) illustrated (89) insects (359) mammals (105) minerals (89) natural history (253) nature (1,494) nature guide (134) nature study (214) non-fiction (965) North America (196) ornithology (88) plants (256) reference (1,040) reptiles (101) rocks (119) science (1,469) seashells (113) spiders (99) trees (374) weather (123) wildlife (96) zoology (145)

Common Knowledge




Authorized Abridgement, Scholastic, Soft Cover
shirfire218 | 4 other reviews | Jun 30, 2023 |
I found an interesting spider up on Mount Rainier a few years ago. The pale blue egg sac caught my attention. I guessed it was in the wolf spider family, roaming around at 1800 meters (6000 feet). I snapped a few photos and continued on to botanize.A few months later, I added an observation on iNaturalist. I know this was a wolf spider (family Lycosidae) but not much more. After a few hours,someone suggested this spider was in genus Pardosa.

A few years later, confirmed the ID at the genus level and noted that in Western Washington, only this genus has blue egg sacs. I then asked Rod about how to get to a species level ID. I asked them to recommend a good beginner's book on spiders. They suggested Spiders and Their Kin by Levi et al. I ordered a copy of the book, and when it arrived, I noticed it was a Golden Guide, which I had thought of as a children's book. I was wrong! This book was a perfect introduction. It covers land arthropods other than insects, including spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, mites, centipedes, millipedes, and wood lice. The book starts with the classification, anatomy, and behavior of spiders and their kin.

The book's core is an illustrated review by family of spiders, spider relatives, myriapods, and land crustaceans. It has worldwide coverage. The length of each section varies based on the number of species. For example, orbweavers (Araneidae) cover 19 pages, about 12% of the book. This section was helpful, especially a two-page spread on how orbweavers build their webs. The unit on wolf spiders (Lycosidae) helped me understand the behavior of the genus Pardosa.

This book will sit beside me while working on my iNaturalist observations of spiders and their relatives. It's a good introduction in 160 pages. One caveat is that this isn't a detailed species identification guide but should be helpful to classify down to the family level.
… (more)
brewbooks | 2 other reviews | Apr 2, 2023 |
One of several pocket-sized Golden Guides that lined my shelves back in the day. Each was interesting, small, easy to carry around in a pocket and thumb through without even being connected to the internet.
mykl-s | 8 other reviews | Nov 27, 2022 |



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James R. Skelly Joint Author
Sy Barlowe Illustrator
Dorothea Barlowe Illustrator
Raymond Perlman Illustrator
Rudolf Freund Illustrator
Jean Zallinger Illustrator
Harry McNaught Illustrator
Tom Dolan Illustrator
Arthur Singer Illustrator
Andre Durenceau Illustrator
Sally D. Kaicher Illustrator
Herschel Wartik Illustrator
Marita Sandström Illustrator
George Sandström Illustrator
Gustav Schrotter Illustrator
Rene Martin Illustrator
René Martin Illustrator
Joy Buba Illustrator
Barbara Wolff Illustrator
Jack Kunz Illustrator
Miriam Hurford Illustrator
Arch Hurford Illustrator
Kenneth R. Martin Illustrator
Larry Kettelkamp Illustrator
Elmer W. Smith Illustrator
Lee J. Ames Illustrator
Russ Smiley Illustrator
Wallace Hughes Illustrator
René Martin Illustrator
Richard Cuffari Illustrator
Dot Barlowe Illustrator
Virginia Bimel Illustrator
Stephen Howe Illustrator
James MacDonald Illustrator
Mel Erikson Illustrator
Susan Simon Illustrator
Rebecca Merrilees Illustrator
Maurice Burton Consultant
Peter Scott Foreword


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