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
Buy it at Amazon

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

Author’s website
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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

Author’s website
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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

children, nature, science

Bright in the Night


Author & Illustrator: Lena Sjöberg
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Science / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65219-0
Pages: 48
Price: $17.95

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Even though it’s dark outside, there are many things with features that are bright at night. Either through reflected light or UV light, these shine brightly all around us. Bright in the Night shares some of these unusual objects and creatures with us.

Beginning with the night sky, Sjöberg shows us the moon, stars, and planets, as well as the northern and southern lights. Next are mysterious lights, and glowing stones and mushrooms. We also see animals’ glowing eyes and body surface areas that shine in UV light. Lights on land include lighthouses, neon signs, and safety reflectors.

Bright in the Night is written for serious science-minded kids, as the topic is covered in quite a bit of depth. Anyone who wants to learn more about the bright objects around them at night will enjoy this interesting and informative book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

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

Author’s website
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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

Author’s website
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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