animals, audio book, nature

Sounds of the Night


Author: Brent A. Ford
Publisher: nVizn Ideas
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 9781947348745
Pages: 40
Price: $11.95

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Nighttime animal sounds make a summer symphony that’s a joy to hear. But what are the animals that make them? Curious kids can find out by listening to Sounds of the Night.

This unique interactive book uses QR codes for kids to listen to various sounds of the night. Its opening track is a long segment of night sounds that includes all the animals presented in the book. Then each animal is featured separately in sound, with a prompt for kids to try to identify it. Once we know who it is, the original comprehensive track is played so kids can try to find it among all the others. Animals featured include various species of bugs, birds, frogs, and toads.

As a nature lover, I found this process fascinating, and I had fun trying to guess the animals as I listened to their sounds. Kids will enjoy listening to this interactive book, and will apply what they’ve learned as they spend time outdoors at night. I highly recommend Sounds of the Night.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, birds, children, nature

The Big Book of Birds


Author & Illustrator: Yuval Zommer
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Birds
ISBN: 978-0-500-65151-3
Pages: 64
Price: $19.95

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Birds delight us with their brightly colored plumage and beautiful songs. But how many different kinds of birds are there? And what are the various categories they belong to? The Big Book of Birds shares a wealth of information regarding these fascinating creatures.

Beginning with a bird family tree, kids are introduced to birds of prey, woodland and forest birds, owls, seabirds, perching birds, water birds, and flightless birds. Feathers, beaks, songs, nests, migration, and flight are explained, and several species of birds are explored in more details. Colorful images fill the pages, as kids get to know these interesting birds.

Bird watchers of all ages will enjoy the touch of whimsy in these unusual illustrations. I highly recommend The Big Book of Birds for anyone who loves to watch birds.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Can You Count the Critters?


Author & Illustrator: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-819-4
Pages: 32
Price: $8.95

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Counting to twelve just got a whole lot more fun! Rather than just counting the animals in these amazing nature photographs, kids have the opportunity to read about each animal while they learn their numbers. Featured animals are: Monarch butterfly, American toad, Eastern cottontail, American black bear, Black-tailed prairie dog, Elk, Bald eagle, Virginia opossum, Lesser long-nosed bat, Painted turtle, Mallard duck, and American bison. In addition to the text on each photo, fun facts on each animal are included in an appendix.

Stan Tekiela is a talented nature photographer, and the images of these animals are close-up and candid. I highly recommend Can You Count the Critters? for all young nature lovers.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, nature

The Gift of the Deer


Author: Helen Hoover
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Genre: Nature / Outdoors
ISBN: 978-0816631285
Pages: 224
Price: $16.95

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Every so often I long to read a book simply about wildlife or nature in general. The book has to have good story, entertaining characters, and a satisfying ending. It is necessary that the tale comes alive in my mind and stimulates my imagination. The Gift of the Deer does all this and more.

Helen and Adrian (Ade) gave up life in the city to move to a remote cabin in the wilds of northern Minnesota. On one Christmas Day during a particularly brutal winter, they noticed a new visitor out among the usual birds and squirrels they feed outside. The fully mature buck was thin, blind in one eye, and obviously struggling to survive winter’s harsh treatment. Deciding to help this deer survive became a decision that would affect the lives of Helen and Ade forever. For four years afterward, they had the privilege to observe and get to know a growing family of deer throughout the seasons. Hoover’s vivid descriptions are presented with the eye of a seasoned naturalist, and her husband’s illustrations further bring the imagery to life.

By reading these personal accounts that cover four captivating years, the reader has the opportunity to see nature in its purist form and learn a side of deer behavior that is very rare indeed. The Gift of the Deer is a golden opportunity to absorb a good story and exercise the imagination. I recommend this book to nature lovers of every sort.

Reviewer: Gene Berger

animals, children, nature

Hidden Critters


Author: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Animals / Nature / Children
ISBN: 978-1-59193-812-5
Pages: 48
Price: $14.95

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The ability to blend in with its surroundings can mean the difference between life and death for many animals. In Hidden Critters, Stan Tekiela shows kids some of these animals that survive by hiding.

Tekiela is a gifted nature photographer who has captured images of the animals in hiding and in plain sight, so kids can see them in their natural settings. In the first picture, kids need to try to find the hidden animal. The second picture shows it in plain view. Closing pages provide fun facts about each of the animals featured: burrowing owl, gray wolf, southern flying squirrel, American alligator, brown creeper, short-tailed weasel, bullfrog, praying mantis, white-tailed deer, and polar bear. A key to the hidden critter pages is also included, showing exactly where to spot these animals.

Nature lovers of all ages will enjoy this book. I highly recommend it for home and classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Look at Me!


Author & Illustrator: Jim Arnosky
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Nature / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2809-6
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

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Many animals have coloring that allows them to blend in with their surroundings, camouflaging them from being seen by predators. But some animals have colorful and unusual features that are meant to attract mates, as well as avoid being eaten. Look at Me! shows us some of these creatures and their stunning displays.

Male turkeys spread their tail feathers, and strut to attract females. African bullfrogs blow up to twice their size to avoid frog-eating snakes. Deer have antlers and sheep have horns for battling other males during mating season. These as well as many other interesting animals are introduced with beautiful illustrations, including some fold out spreads.

Nature’s wonders never fail to please children, and Look at Me! is a delight to read. Kids (and teachers) will love it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

My First Wild Activity Book


Author: Isabel Otter-Barry Ross
Illustrator: Maxime Lebrun
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
ISBN: 978-1-62686-957-8
Pages: 32
Price: $12.99

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Children may not be able to take a trip around the world to visit natural habitats, but they can do this from the comfort of their own homes. With My First Wild Activity Book, kids will explore the rain forest, desert, ocean, mountains, forest, savanna, and polar ice.

Each location has several activities: search and finds, counting, mazes, matching, connect the dots, coloring, and stickers. An answer key is also provided. At the end of each section, there is a space for young adventurers to place their explorer completion badge.

This activity book is more about fun than learning, and the amount of actual information provided for each section is manageable for small children. But by playing with this book, they will discover these seven different habitats and hopefully be curious enough to want to know more. Kids will love this fun activity book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger