animals, children, nature

Whose House Is That?


Author & Illustrator: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children, Animals, Nature
ISBN: 978-1-64755-074-5
Pages: 48
Price: $14.95

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Animals create unique and interesting places to live, and Stan Tekiela invites us into their homes for a virtual photographic visit.

Each home is pictured on the first spread, with an opportunity for children to guess who built it. The following spread shows the animal and provides facts about it. Animals featured are the: bald eagle, American robin, bald-faced hornet, Monarch butterfly, American beaver, black bear, garden spider, prairie dog, sunfish, cottontail rabbit, and common ant. The final page invites kids to look for animal homes near them.

Whose House Is That? is a fun exploration of animals and their living quarters. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

Growing Pains


Author: Alison McLennan
Illustrator: Melissa Johns
Publisher: EK Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-925820-52-2
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99

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Finn’s family has planted a tree, and Finn begins to worry about it. Do trees get cold? He provides a scarf for warmth. Do trees get hungry? A plate of toast is placed at its base. Will his tree get lonely? He spends some time near the tree talking to it and asking it questions.

But when Finn’s night light suddenly goes out, Finn is worried that the tree is also scared of the dark, like he is. Once he realizes that the tree is not afraid, he draws strength from his tree and faces his own fears.

Growing Pains is a story of a boy who is very much in tune with nature. Finn looks after the tree’s perceived needs, and the tree gives back when he needs it most. I highly recommend this sweet and gentle book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

Goodnight Great Outdoors


Author: Lucas Alberg
Illustrator: Megan Marie Myers
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-888-0
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95

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A family is camping in the wilderness and is getting ready to go to sleep. But before they slip inside their tent, they say goodnight to the animals and environment around them.

This simple bedtime book repeats the word “goodnight” to all of the family’s surroundings. It also introduces the animals the family might see in the woods and provides a nugget of information on each. Goodnight Great Outdoors is the perfect bedtime book for families of outdoor adventurers.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

Pop-Up Volcano!


Author: Fleur Daugey
Illustrator: Tom Vaillant
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65222-0
Pages: 20
Price: $29.95

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Volcanoes can be deadly, but they’re fascinating to study. Pop-Up Volcano! is a fun resource explaining how volcanoes form and what happens when they explode.

Pop-up images fill this short book, along with information on various volcanoes. Whether on the ground, under the sea, or even on other planets, these volcanoes are fun to explore. Kids will enjoy this unique look at one of nature’s most dangerous formations.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

The Big Book of Blooms


Author & Illustrator: Yuval Zommer
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65199-5
Pages: 64
Price: $19.95
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Author & Illustrator: Yuval Zommer
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65229-9
Pages: 56
Price: $14.95
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Flowers are beautiful and they’re also fascinating to study. If kids have ever wondered what a Venus flytrap eats, how strong a giant water lily is, or if flowers bloom at night, The Big Book of Blooms will answer their questions.

After a brief introduction to the various types of flowers and their anatomy, this guidebook visits some of the more interesting varieties for a more in-depth look. Kids will study venus fly traps, cacti, wildflowers, and stinking flowers, as well as many others. Bright and colorful illustrations fill the oversized pages.

And if kids still want to learn more, they can have fun with The Big Sticker Book of Blooms, which includes “more stickers than there are prickles on a cactus.” I highly recommend this fun and whimsical two-book set for all budding naturalists.

Reviewer:  Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Bats


Author & Illustrator: Gail Gibbons
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Nature / Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4354-3
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99

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Bats are amazing creatures, but many people are afraid of them. They are harmless animals that care for their young, help control the insect population, and pollinate plants. And right now they are in danger.

Since people don’t understand much about these mammals, they destroy their habitats. Pollution and pesticides also threaten bats. And now, they face a terrible disease called white-nose syndrome that has killed many bats.

Bats may be associated with Count Dracula but they’re not scary at all. In fact, they will probably never come near you. Bats provides a wealth of information so kids can learn all about these nocturnal animals and develop a healthy respect for them. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

Hoot and Howl Across the Desert


Author & Illustrator: Vassiliki Tzomaka
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65198-8
Pages: 56
Price: $19.95

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It’s hard to survive in harsh desert conditions, but many animals and plants not only survive, but thrive. They’ve adapted to fit into their environments. Hoot and Howl Across the Desert shows us some of these deserts and the animals and plants that live there.

First, kids learn the definition of a desert, and may be surprised to learn about Antarctica. While focusing on each of the deserts, certain plants and animals are featured, as the author shows us some of their unique characteristics. Illustrations draw on indigenous and folk art local to each featured desert.

There is a wealth of information about the inhabitants of the world’s worst living conditions, and kids will enjoy reading about them all. They may even be inspired to learn more about these intrepid creatures. I highly recommend Hoot and Howl Across the Desert.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Whose Track is That?


Author: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-59193-958-0
Pages: 52
Price: $14.95

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If you were hiking in the woods and came across an animal track, would you be able to identify it? Whose Track is That? is a fun way to learn which animals might make the tracks you find.

This book features animals tracks for 11 different animals. First, we see a close-up photo of what it looks like, along with a description and a clue as to what it might be. Then when we turn the page, the animal is identified, along with photos and interesting information about it. The appendix shows all animal tracks with some additional pointers to help in identification.

Stan Tekiela has created another fun activity book for kids with his beautiful photography and knowledge of nature. I highly recommend Whose Track is That?

Reviewer: Alice Berger

nature, science

Fossils for Kids


Author: Dan R. Lynch
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Nature / Science / Fossils
ISBN: 978-1-59193-939-9
Pages: 188
Price: $12.95

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Kids love seeing dinosaur skeletons in museums, but probably don’t know much about fossils and how they’re formed. In this introduction to paleontology, we learn about ancient life and their fossils.

First, we are introduced to the various types of fossils and how they came to be. Then we see photos of various animal and plant fossils, along with descriptions of how they were formed, the time period they would have been found in, and where they would most likely be located today. Kids are either discouraged or encouraged to look for them, depending on the legality of collecting them.

Fossils for Kids is a comprehensive guide to paleontology, and serious fossil lovers will refer to it over and over again. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

Garden Jungle


Author & Illustrator: Hélène Druvert
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65224-4
Pages: 32
Price: $24.95

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Tom is bored, so his mother sends him off to explore the garden. After a butterfly catches Tom’s attention, he and the cat begin to explore. Trees, birds, animals, and a pond suddenly turn into a jungle, and even the cat is now a leopard. What once seemed ordinary, now looks so much more interesting, as they see the sights together.

This unique book contains several pages with laser-cut silhouette images showing the garden as Tom sees it. These pages are gorgeous in their detail, but small hands will have a hard time handling them gently. Parents will want to supervise while children read this book, or even hold the book themselves to preserve the fine cutouts.

Children will delight in reading Garden Jungle as they see the ordinary come alive in new and exciting ways. They may even want to turn into backyard adventurers, themselves. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger