Topic: Animals

  365 Penguins

by Jean-Luc Fromental

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

The life of a family becomes gradually "penguinized" when every day, beginning on the first of January, a mysterious package arrives with a new penguin. As the penguins increase in number, the family attempts to find humorous new solutions to deal with the increasing population of birds that need to be fed, organized and housed. Over the months, the comedy continues as penguins play piano, watch TV, swim in the backyard pool and take over the house. 365 days and penguins later, on New Year’s Eve, the doorbell rings and Uncle Victor, an ecologist who has been sending the penguin packages, explains he needs to protect the birds whose Antarctic habitat is gradually melting due to global warming. Although to the relief of the family, he leaves the house with a truck full of penguins, another mysterious, yet different, parcel soon arrives. This hilarious story with zany illustrations to explore is a fun adventure in math and counting that also conveys an environmental message to young readers.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  About Birds: A Guide for Children

by Cathryn Sill

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds

This exquisitely illustrated picture book with simple text introduces young naturalists to birds and several of their basic characteristics and behavior – feathers, bills, nests and flight. A basic statement about birds is followed on the facing page by a full-page painting of a species in its habitat for which more detailed information is provided in an Afterword. The lifelike watercolors include several of the more common species such as robins and cardinals as well as less familiar ones including common murres, ruby-throated hummingbirds, great horned owls, indigo buntings and evening grosbeaks.

See also:
Mia Posada's Robins: Songbirds of Spring
Rick Chrustowski's Blue Sky Bluebird
Nancy Carol Willis' The Robins in Your Backyard

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Adelina's Whales

by Richard Sobol

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This is a beautiful photo-essay by Richard Sobol about a 10 year old girl living in the remote fishing village of La Laguna in Baja, Mexico near a lagoon that is a gray whale nursery. Every year Adelina Mayoral eagerly awaits the arrival of her special friends, the gray whales that travel from their northern feeding grounds, as far away as Alaska and Russia, across the Pacific to this protected lagoon to give birth and raise their calves until the spring when they once again head north. The text and stunning photography, that show the close encounters and rapport of humans and whales, also offer an insight into Adelina’s daily life and the world of these unique mammals. In the "Foreword" Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. describes his visit to Laguna San Ignacio and how Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) succeeded in 1997 in saving this pristine lagoon from industrial development and keeping this area as a gray whale nursery.

For more information, visit: www.savebiogems.org/baja/

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Adopted by an Owl

by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

This is a moving true story of Jackson, a great horned owl that was taken from its nest by a young boy to be raised as a pet. Soon after he had captured the owlet, the child found that he was incapable of caring for a wild animal. A dedicated wildlife expert took over the care of the bird to rehabilitate and eventually release it back into the wild. This beautifully illustrated picture book that shows the meaning of compassion towards wildlife provides an intimate look into a relationship of a human with a wild animal and into the life and behavior of a great horned owl.

See also:
Robert Bateman's Birds of Prey

      Grades: Preschool to 4th

  Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals

by Steve Jenkins

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Written and illustrated by Caldecott winner Steve Jenkins, Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals examines twenty-one endangered animals found throughout the world, poignantly highlighting the critically low numbers that remain. Jenkins depicts these rare animals through beautiful cut and torn paper collage artwork. The informative text describes the physical, behavioral and feeding traits, their natural habitats and reasons behind the endangered status of these animals. Readers can learn that the Abington Island Tortoises of the Galapagos Islands were overhunted in the 1800’s to the extent of possibly only one tortoise remaining in the world. Jenkins also includes examples of animals that are now extinct as well as several species that through various efforts have made a comeback to healthier numbers. Describing the extinction of species, Jenkins writes that, although the consequences of the extinction of a species are not fully understood because of the complexity of the web of connections amongst living things, "we do know that something unique has been lost and can never be replaced."

The endangered animals described in this book include: monkey-eating eagle and dwarf water buffalo (Philippines); crested shelduck and baiji or Yangtze River dolphin (China); blue iguana (Grand Cayman Island); northern hairy-nosed wombat, eastern barred bandicoot, giant stick insect and waterfall or torrent frog (Australia); California condor (Southwestern U.S.); addax (Sahara Desert); hispid hare or Assam rabbit (India and Nepal); Miami blue butterfly (Florida, U.S.); Javan rhinoceros (Vietnam and Indonesia); golden lion tamarin (Brazil); Bactrian camel (Mongolia and China); coelacanth (Indian Ocean); Iriomote cat (Japan); Abington Island tortoise (Galapagos Islands); and, northern right whale (Atlantic Ocean). The extinct animals that are cited are: moa, (New Zealand), Stellar sea cow (Bering Strait), Tasmanian wolf (Australia), and Guam flying fox (Mariana Islands). Lastly, the recovering species include: gharial or Indian crocodile (Northern India), whooping crane (North America), and Alpine ibex (Europe).

See also: Alexandra Wright's Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species, and
David McLimans' Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Amazon Alphabet

by Martin and Tanis Jordan

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Various Classes

Richly illustrated full-page and double-page images of animals introduce young children both to the letters of the alphabet and the inhabitants of the Amazon. From "Aa is for Agouti eating Brazil nuts", to an Amazon River Dolphin, a harpy Eagle, a tree Frog, a green Iguana, a hyacinth Macaw, an Ocelot, a red-bellied Piranha, a Sloth, an Umbrella bird, to "Zz is for Zorro hidden in the tree" -- the wide and unusual array of different species show the beauty and diversity of the rain forest. A pronunciation guide with extended information about each animal is provided following the text.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Among the Orangutans: The Birute Galdikas Story

by Evelyn Gallardo

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

Tracing the life of Birute Galdikas from her childhood fascination with orangutans to her renown research of these primates in Indonesia, this photobiography provides insights into the fieldwork involved in primate studies as well as the unique contribution of Galdikas' research into orangutan behavior. Along with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Galdikas was one of three researchers directed by Louis Leakey to undertake studies of the great apes. Descriptions of Galdikas' experiences in the remote tropical rain forests of Borneo, her observations of the social interactions and behavior of orangutans and her caring for orphaned orangutans are complemented by color photographs of Galdikas and her family as well as of orangutans in the wild. A personal note from Galdikas follows the text as well as information about organizations working to conserve the endangered orangutans.

Visit: www.orangutan.org

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  And So They Build

by Bert Kitchen

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes

Illustrated with exquisite, detailed paintings by the author, this book clearly details particular adaptations of amazing structures built by twelve different animals as well as distinctive aspects of the behavior of these architects. The animals described are both exotic and familiar, primarily birds and insects, but also include a harvest mouse, gladiator tree frog, stickleback fish and beavers. Most of these constructions and animal behavior are not familiar to either children or adults and will fascinate readers of all ages.

Recommended in Nature's Course (March/April 1997) published by CCEL.

      Grades: Preschool & Up

  And Then There Was One

by Margaret Facklam

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

In this interesting, informative and well-written survey, Facklam unveils the mysteries of extinction describing the reasons for the disappearance of some species as part of the natural evolutionary process and contrasting the recent increasing rate of extinction due to human intervention, ignorance and carelessness. Citing examples of the disappearance of species due to natural causes, such as earthquakes, volcanoes and, in the case of dinosaurs, possibly an asteroid collision, the author also describes natural selection and adaptations through which other species have survived for millions of years. To demonstrate the impact humans have had on the environment, Facklam examines the role in more recent extinctions of habitat destruction, excessive hunting and trapping, poaching, introduction of non-native species, pollution, DDT and other hazardous waste. In the final chapter, "And Now the Good News", the author ends the book on a positive note describing efforts through legislation and recovery programs to preserve endangered and threatened species from extinction.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Animals Like Us

by Andrea Mills and David Attenborough

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The ARKive website was created to serve as a virtual "Noah’s Ark" of information about animals and plants throughout the world that are in danger of extinction. Launched by David Attenborough and based in England, this project was conceived to educate the public about the urgent need to protect and conserve endangered species and their habitats.

Designed to accompany the ARKive website, Animals Like Us features several of these endangered animals, organized by the five habitats of forest, desert, ocean, grassland and mountain. Spectacular color photography of each endangered species – close-ups and images of the animals in their respective habitats – as well as fascinating information about feeding habits, behavior, physical traits, maps of habitation and the problems of survival, provide a comprehensive look at these amazing creatures. Links to related websites are also included to explore habitats as well as internet sites of organizations working to save the world’s endangered species.

Introducing each section by habitat, the book describes the ways they are being destroyed and then examines some of the endangered animals that live there:
Forest: orangutan, kakapo, Verreaux’s sifaka, koala and tiger;
Desert: African elephant, Bactrian camel, Arabian oryx, Gila monster and Indian wild ass;
Ocean: humpback whale, sea otter, marine iguana, West Indian manatee and green turtle;
Grassland: cheetah, black rhinoceros, hyacinth macaw, Grevy’s zebra and giant anteater; and lastly,
Mountain: panda, Ethiopian wolf, mountain gorilla, snow leopard and spectacled bear.

Visit the ARKive website to find a wealth of information in the digital library of animals and plants listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, including audio and video "portraits" through films and photographs at: www.arkive.org

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems

by Judy Sierra

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

Seen through the eyes of the baby chicks, the lively verses of this comically illustrated book are based on the real lives and habits of emperor penguins. The amusing illustrations and poems of the chicks as they burst from their shells, hang on to dad's feet as he walks, search for the sounds of their moms and then learn to swim and to survive against predators will delight readers of all ages.

Poems include: A Hatchling's Song, Mother Penguin's Vacation, My Father's Feet, Regurgitate, I Am Looking For My Mother, Penguins' First Swim, Predator Riddles, Diary of a Very Short Winter Day, Belly Sliding, Be My Penguin, and, Antarctic Anthem.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Baby Beluga

by Raffi & Ashley Wolff (illustrator)

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

The little white beluga whale of Raffi's song swims through the pages of this board book, in which puffins, dolphins, seals, bears and orcas abound in the sea and on icebergs around the mother and her calf. The illustrated Raffi song will delight young children as they follow the lively voyage of baby Beluga through "the deep, blue sea".

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Baby Whale's Journey

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Poetic text and expansive illustrations capture the life of a baby sperm whale from its first breath as it is born off the Pacific coast of Mexico, then as it journeys at the side of its mother through the sea where they feed, communicate with other members of the pod and encounter orcas and giant squids. An afterword supplements information about this magnificent endangered species and the Reader's Guide provides parents and educators ideas for discussions and activities expanding the knowledge of these mammals.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Bald Eagle

by Gordon Morrison

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds

"Gordon Morrison is a nature artist who has illustrated more than twenty books including Peterson Field Guides. His expertise is evident in this book about the development and growth of the bald eagle from egg to adult. . . . On each page, notated sketches give more information about the biology, life cycle and behavior of these birds. This is a book that all grade levels will enjoy." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  Bats: Swift Shadows in the Twilight (The Wonder Series)

by Ann C. Cooper

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This story and activity book has been described by Dr. Merlin Tuttle of Bat Conservation International as one of the best books for children about bats. The text with black and white illustrations abounds with information about different bat species as well as the physical characteristics, habitats, flight patterns and behavior of these animals. Intriguing suggested activities -- building a backyard bat box, a pop-up bat cave and a "Wheel-o-Meal" that teaches the various diets of different species of bats -- serve to dispel common misconceptions about these mammals.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Beaks!

by Sneed B. Collard III

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds

Learn about the amazing variety of beaks of different birds throughout the world and the many ways the adaptations of beaks help birds to survive. The different shapes of beaks enable birds to eat, hunt and gather food and to specialize in foraging for specific kinds of food – flowers, seeds, berries, fruit, flesh, insects, fish or other prey. Bills can also amplify bird calls or be used to build nests or burrows, or to fight off enemies; the bright colorations of some birds’ beaks might even help attract mates. Not only is the text informative, but Brickman’s cut-paper watercolor illustrations also create realistic 3-dimensional artwork displaying the amazing variety and beauty of birds.

The colorful birds illustrated throughout the book include: woodpeckers, song sparrows, macaws, hummingbirds, eagles, toucans, woodpeckers, flamingos, skimmers, spoonbills, herons, pelicans, crossbills, hornbills, bowerbirds, bee-eaters, western gulls, puffins, Hawaiian honeycreepers, bitterns, peregrine falcons, roadrunners, marbled godwits, cardinals, warblers and wood ducks.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Beast Feast

by Douglas Florian

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes

Florian has written and illustrated a book of captivating poems about a variety of animals -- from the familiar ant, walrus and caterpillar to the more exotic rhea, boa and kiwi -- that will delight children as well as adults. Each poem with its accompanying painting is a feast of an amusing brief encounter with a beast, be it a blind mole, a crumb-picking pigeon, a tacky-tongued anteater or the ever-changing chameleon. The twenty-one captivating poems of different "beasts" include: "The Walrus", "The Barracuda", "The Anteater", "The Boa", "The Lobster", "The Chameleon", "The Rhea", "The Ants", "The Whale", "The Pigeon", "The Armadillo", "The Sloth", "The Grasshopper", "The Camel", "The Caterpillar", "The Toad", "The Bat", "The Firefly", "The Kangaroo", "The Mole" and "The Kiwi".

        Grades: Preschool and up

  Big Blue

by Shelley Gill

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

During a trip with marine biologists to Baja, Mexico, a young girl’s dream of swimming alongside a blue whale is finally realized. This picture book integrates scientific information with imagery and narrative from the perspective of the young girl in having her wish come true by her fascinating underwater encounter with the largest animal on our planet.

See also: Melissa Kim’s The Blue Whale, an informative book which explores the plight of blue whales as well as other endangered whale species that have been drastically overhunted to the point of near extinction.

        Grades: 1st to 3rd

  The Big Snow

by Berta & Elmer Hader

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

This 1949 Caldecott Award winner is a timeless story of the cycle of seasons, evoked through the lives of the woodland animals as they prepare in different ways for the coming of winter. Wild geese head south, squirrels and chipmunks busily store food, rabbits and deer grow thick winter coats, while other animals prepare for hibernation. After the coming of the big snow, the hungry woodland dwellers find a banquet of food put out by an old couple, who continue to feed the hungry animals until the arrival of the spring.

        Grades: All

  The Bird Alphabet Book

by Jerry Pallotta

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds

From Atlantic puffins to zebra finches, from the familiar to the exotic, birds for every letter of the alphabet are presented with amusing, factual text and exquisite illustrations.

Recommended in Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Box Turtle at Long Pond

by William T. George

HARDCOVER
Animals : Reptiles

One day in the life of a box turtle is lyrically recounted with stunning, realistic, close-up illustrations that detail its moves, its searches for food and encounters with other inhabitants of the pond.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Butterflies Fly

by Yvonne Winter

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Spineless Creatures

Readers enter the dazzling realms of fifteen species of butterflies pictured in their natural habitats as they view the full-page illustrations and read the whimsical verses describing these insects. The watercolor and gouache close-ups by Karen Lloyd-Jones show the beauty and diversity of these insects that are factually explored in the identification guide at the end of the book. This book provides a visual feast for all ages, exploring a selection of butterflies from various parts of the world, some of which are being threatened by habitat destruction.

        Grades: 2nd to 5th

  The Butterfly Alphabet

by Kjell B. Sandved

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures

The exquisite beauty of wings of butterflies and moths reveal forms of letters of the alphabet created by nature's hand. Having visited more than thirty countries over more than twenty-five years, Sandved found the letters he sought sometimes hiding in an exotic setting, sometimes revealed only under magnification of these insects' wings. A double-sided layout for each letter shows the photographed full-page color close-up pattern of scales forming the letter on the insect's wing, while the opposite page presents the full image and name of the butterfly or moth. The lines of a poem about butterflies weaves through the pages of the alphabet. Information about the life cycle of butterflies and moths as well as each of the photographed insects is appended to the text.

      Grades: Preschool and up

  The Butterfly Alphabet Book

by Brian Cassie and Jerry Pallotta

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures

The beauty and variety of butterflies, resplendent with detailed, colorful, airbrush illustrations, are presented in alphabet style format to young naturalists. Information about their life cycle, as well as descriptions about unusual species such as camouflaged and transparent butterflies, will fascinate young readers.

Reviewed in Nature's Course (November/December 1995) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Butterfly House

by Eve Bunting

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Spineless Creatures

The narrator recounts how, as a young girl, she saved a larva from a jay and then, with the help of her grandfather, created a colorful butterfly house, a painted garden in a box decorated with pictures of flowers from which butterflies feed the nectar. Over the days she watched the larva transform itself into a chrysalis and later emerge as a Painted Lady butterfly which she released back to nature. Years later when she is much older, the narrator describes how she is visited every spring by butterflies who come to her garden of flowers, the ones she had painted long ago with her grandfather in her butterfly house. This touching, evocative story, illustrated with gouache paintings of the narrator, her grandfather as well as close-ups showing the metamorphosis of the Painted Ladies, is followed by detailed information for creating a house in which to raise a butterfly, including care and feeding instructions.

See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Butterflies

      Grades: Preschool and up

  The Butterfly's Treasure

by Schim Schimmel

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

In a milkweed patch before summer's end, an old, wise butterfly passes along the wisdom he has learned to a young caterpillar -- his discovery of a "treasure beyond belief." Old Monarch recounts his wondrous year-long journey of discovery around the globe and his encounters with some of the most amazing animals of our planet. As he travels past brown bears, seals and polar bears of the Northern forests and Arctic, then passes the majestic great cats, elephants and gorillas of Africa and the rare snow leopards of the Himalayas, and encounters the penguins of the Antarctic and the dolphins of the Pacific, the secret of this priceless treasure breathtakingly unfolds revealing its fascinating gems. The engaging story and Schimmel’s stunning, beautiful artwork instill a sense of wonder and respect for the intimate connection of all living beings and the unique treasure in this universe -- our magnificent planet.

See also, other books by Schim Schimmel:
Dear Children of the Earth
The Family of Earth
Children of the Earth... Remember

      Grades: Preschool & up

  Can We Save Them?

by David Dobson

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This book provides information about eleven species of endangered North American animals presented with descriptions of their physical characteristics, habitats, behavior and the causes for their endangered status. At the end of each double-page description and colorful illustration of the endangered species the author provides hope for its future and includes suggestions to promote its recovery. Species of endangered wildflowers are also discussed with mention of the importance of plants as sources of food and valuable medicines. The author concludes the book calling upon readers to help conserve endangered species and prevent their extinction.

Endangered species, primarily animals, discussed in the book include: Florida panthers, Oahu tree snails, gray bats, American burying beetles, peregrine falcons, eastern indigo snakes, cui-ui (fish species), Peary caribou, a variety of wildflowers, eastern timber wolves, Kirtland's warblers and Puerto Rican parrots. An annotated map of North America showing the distribution of the endangered species follows the text.

See also: Alexandra Wright's Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species, and
David McLimans' Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet

        Grades: 1st to 5th

  Caribou Journey

by Debbie S. Miller

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

Every spring caribou migrate North to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska where tens of thousands of calves are born. The author, who has lived in northern Alaska and has many times observed the migration of caribou, eloquently presents the life cycle of these magnificent animals who travel back and forth through Canada's Yukon Territory and northeast Alaska, almost three thousand miles each year in search of food. The story focuses on a mother caribou and her young, their searches for food through the snows of winter, the mother's protection of the young against wolves and eagles, and the yearly migration patterns of the herd. This engrossing story, resplendent with double-page illustrations, interweaves fascinating information about these mammals, their adaptations for life and travel in the rugged climate of the tundra, the bonding of mothers and their young, the autumnal encounter of males fighting for mates, and the crossing of rivers by the herd along their journey. The "Author's Note" provides information specifically about the Porcupine Herd of caribou, one of the largest migratory herds of North America that is described in this story, as well as mention of the importance of preserving the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge of Alaska.

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  Chameleons are Cool

by Martin Jenkins

HARDCOVER
Animals : Reptiles

This amusing portrait of chameleons complemented by colorful, close-up, ink-and-watercolor illustrations provides fascinating information about their behavior and unique physical characteristics such as color changing, eye swiveling and sharpshooting of their long tongues.

        Grades: 1st to 3rd

  The Chimpanzee Family Book

by Jane Goodall

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

Following a mother and baby of a troop of chimpanzees for one day in the forest of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, where she has based her renown research of chimpanzees, Jane Goodall presents her observations, both personal and factual, of the behavior and social structure of these animals in the wild. Numerous large close-up photographs of the individual chimps and the forest habitat complement the text to show young children the family life, the intimacy, the varied expressions, playfulness and range of social interactions of these amazing mammals that are closely related to humans. Young readers are shown the patience and study required to understand animals in the wild and also the deep respect, interest and care that Goodall holds for the chimpanzees.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  The Chimpanzees I Love: Saving their World and Ours

by Jane Goodall

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

This inspiring account of Jane Goodall's scientific work with chimpanzees and her devoted efforts to promote conservation provides young readers a historical context for Goodall's research, narratives of the author's field work in Tanzania's Gombe National Park, as well as fascinating scientific observations of chimp behavior, communication and society. The text is accompanied by vintage photographs of Goodall's youth as well as dozens of color close-ups of the scientist and the chimpanzees in their habitat, documenting forty years of groundbreaking research at Gombe. All of the author's proceeds from the sale of this book is donated in support of Roots & Shoots, the global children's educational program of the Jane Goodall Institute.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Chipmunk Song

by Joanne Ryder

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

"This book playfully carries the reader through the activities of a chipmunk during the autumn season. Wonderfully attentive illustrations introduce children to the natural world as it is seen through the eyes of a small furry creature gathering acorns to store below ground before the first snow." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Christmas Song of the North

by Marsha Bonicatto

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

During the twelve days of Christmas the north woods bestow "12 wolves a-howling, 11 chickadees calling, 10 fish a-swimming, 9 mice dig-digging, 8 deer a-drinking, 7 rabbits nibbling, 6 otters playing, 5 white birch trees, 4 sleepy bears, 3 red squirrels 2, snowy owls and a ruffed grouse in a pine tree.". Set to the traditional Christmas song and illustrated by evocative, delicate watercolors, this picture book offers children an enchanting discovery of the community of woodland animals and their life during the snows of winter.

        Grades: Preschool to 5th

  Come Back, Salmon

by Molly Cone

PAPERBACK
Animals : Fish
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The engrossing, true story of the relentless determination of the school children at Jackson Elementary in Everett, Washington to reclaim the polluted stream of Pigeon Creek as a salmon spawning ground is presented through interviews and full-color photographs of the children and teachers working at their project. Supplementary scientific information about the life cycle of salmon is included in panels beside the main text.

Reviewed in Nature's Course (September/October 1993) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 2nd to 6th

  Compost Critters

by Bianca Lavies

HARDCOVER
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Recycling & Composting

"What are the organisms that turn the food scraps, grass clippings and leaves that you put into your compost pile into dirt? Bianca Lavies shows us these strange looking creatures magnified many times and her marvelous text explains how they do their jobs. . . . The photographs in this book will amaze and captivate children. Here are the critters that specialize in turning yukky garbage waste into rich soil: bacteria and fungi, earthworms, springtails, nematodes, sow bugs, millipedes, mites and snails -- bigger than life." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1998) published by CCEL.

See also:
Mary Appelhof's Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment
Wendy Pfeffer's Wiggling Worms at Work
Tim Magner's Earl The Earthworm Digs for His Life

      Grades: 2nd to 6th

  Condor's Egg

by Jonathan London

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This dramatic picture book with panoramic and close-up watercolor views of California condors portrays the flight, nesting and hatching of these birds, an endangered species. The flight of a condor above the mountains and valleys leads to a cliffside cave where its mate guards a single egg. Through the long night of a thunderous storm, while rocks fall from above, the two birds care for the egg. With the sunlit beginning of the day, the birth of a new condor takes place. Following the story, "More About Condors" provides a historical and factual perspective about the condor, the rarest and largest North American bird, the causes of its endangered status and a listing of organizations that provide information about condors and their recovery program.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Destination: Polar Regions

by Jonathan Grupper

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Various Classes

Taking readers to both polar regions to explore the fauna and flora, Grupper's photographic essay, published by the National Geographic Society, presents a fascinating view of the harsh, yet fragile, ecosystems of the Arctic and Antarctic. Although most of the book is devoted to the Arctic, the polar regions are explored through seasonal variations and their transformations of life. The full-page color photographs with numerous photo insets and informative text present readers with magnificent views of the diversity of polar life on land, on ice and in the sea.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House.

      Grades: 5th through 7th

  Each Living Thing

by Joanne Ryder

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

Celebrating the creatures of this earth, this picture book of double-page spreads and brief, poetic text echoes a message of awareness, caution and caring for all living beings on this earth. Whether it be a spider, alligator, bee, jellyfish, bear, snake or toad, each living thing has its own special place on earth.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Eagles: Hunters of the Sky (The Wonder Series)

by Ann C. Cooper

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

An endearing story about a Sioux boy's close relationship to an injured eagle as well as engrossing activities which include "The Migration Game", "Build an Eagle Wing" and "An Eagle Family Album" will captivate children to explore the world of eagles, their physical characteristics, their flight, habitats and their role in the food chain. This book with informative black-and-white illustrations is published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History.

      Grades: 4th to 6th

  Earthsong

by Sally Rogers

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Based upon the author's song "Over in the Endangered Meadow" which was inspired by the traditional song "Over in the Meadow", this picture counting book introduces young children to eleven endangered animals throughout the world -- from the howling wolf pups in the Arctic tundra and the blowing, spouting right whale calf in the North Atlantic to the panda cubs chewing bamboo in China and the pouncing Bengal tiger cubs of the Bangladeshi jungles. Each page is resplendent with vibrant paintings of ocean, forest, jungle or desert landscapes that show the endangered animals in their habitats. "Notes on the Animals" which follows the text presents a brief write-up about each animal explaining the causes of their endangered status.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Emperor's Egg

by Martin Jenkins

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

Jenkins’ engrossing picture book provides a humorous description of male Emperor penguins, focusing on the nurturing role of the father in protecting the egg and hatchling during the winter months in Antarctica. The author’s personalized, conversational comments portraying the unique traits of the “world’s most devoted dad” -- the ordeals of the four-foot male penguin stranded on the ice in the freezing cold without any food during the two months of incubation while mom is off feeding in the ocean -- will amuse readers of all ages. Naturalistic, acrylic illustrations depict the Emperor penguins in their icy habitat and offer a fun-filled insight into the unique animal behavior of these amazing birds.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Every Autumn Comes the Bear

by Jim Arnosky

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

A rugged, wooded landscape behind a farm is explored every autumn by a bear where it encounters woodland animals, claws at trees, drinks from a spring and walks on trails before finally settling in its den for the winter. Expansive landscapes watercolors and close-ups of animals portray the transformation from autumn to winter in a picture book that conveys to young children through its simple text the transition of seasons and the rhythms of the natural world through the explorations of a bear.

      Grades: Pre-School to 2nd

  The Extinct Alphabet Book

by Jerry Pallotta

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Twenty-six animals that once inhabited the Earth are presented by an informative text and bold illustrations. Excluding the more popular dinosaurs, Pallotta has instead chosen some unusual, extraordinary creatures, such as the five-eyed Opabinia, that will captivate readers of all ages. Fossilization and the mention of the causes of more recent extinctions are included.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Eyes of Gray Wolf

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Having lost his mate to a man's steel trap, Gray Wolf ventures through a snowy, moonlit landscape where scents, sights and sounds lead him to the trail of a snowshoe hare and eventually to a pack of wolves where he finds a new mate.

"The poetic prose written for lower elementary audience and magnificent drawings vividly depict the great beauty of the wolf. At the end of the book, the author lists many preservation groups and shows a map of the wolf's range in North America in the 1700's versus its range today." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1999) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  Falcons Nest on Skyscrapers

by Priscilla Belz Jenkins

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The conservation story of the comeback of peregrine falcons is recounted centering on Scarlett and her mate, Beauregard, whose nest on a Baltimore skyscraper contained the first wild peregrine eggs laid in the eastern United States in thirty years after the near extinction of these birds due to DDT. Simple, direct prose also describes the tremendous flight maneuvers of these birds of prey, their hunting skills as well as the work of the ornithologists at The Hawk Barn in saving the peregrine falcon.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Feathers for Lunch

by Lois Ehlert

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds

The prowlings of a housecat through a garden forms the basis of this simple, animated story that illustrates twelve common backyard birds which the cat tries to catch for lunch. Bold colorful illustrations with labeled garden flowers and birds as well as a glossary introduce youngsters to common birds.

Recommended in Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  First Snow in the Woods

by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

As the nights grow longer and the winds blow colder, the animals of the forest listen to their heartsong and prepare for the change of seasons, some by traveling many miles to distant, warmer places, others by preparing for hibernation and the cold of winter. The stunning photography by wildlife photographers Sams and Stoick reveals the beauty of the woods and the variety of inhabitants during the transition from autumn to winter in this captivating story. Chipmunks, deer, birds, raccoons, hares and mice await the arrival of the great gray owl from the far north whose cries announce the first snowstorm of winter.

See also:
Sams' and Stoick's Stranger in the Woods,
Berta Hader's The Big Snow,
Elizabeth Partridge's Moon Glowing,
Denise Fleming's Time to Sleep, and
Henrietta Bancroft's Animals in Winter

      Grades: Kindergarten & Up

  Flute's Journey

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Open this book and follow Flute the wood thrush from the day he emerges from his turquoise egg until he becomes a mature adult bird. Travel south with Flute across North America, to High Island in Texas, then across the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula and his winter home in Costa Rica. Then follow him back to Maryland in the spring. Guided by Ms. Cherry's skillful text and lush, detailed paintings, youngsters will experience first hand a wood thrush's life -- what foods they eat, how they defend their territory, how they raise their young, their miraculous migration, and the hazards they face, such as hawks, cats, toxic chemicals and habitat loss." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.


See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Birds
Nancy Carol Willis' Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey
Carol Lerner's On the Wing: American Birds in Migration
Mary Lyn Ray's Welcome, Brown Bird

To learn more, visit:
The Smithsonian National Zoo's Migratory Bird Center
Journey North's Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change

To learn about how kids helped save Belt Woods, visit Lynne Cherry's website.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  The Frog Alphabet Book

by Jerry Pallotta

PAPERBACK
Animals : Amphibians

Awesome toads, frogs, salamanders, newts or caecilians abound on each page of every letter of the alphabet in this beautifully illustrated book that introduces children to the world of amphibians, describing their range of sizes, shapes, colors and habitats. This informative book includes descriptions of the life cycle of frogs and of various amphibians found throughout the world -- the Crested Newt, Caecilians, the Fire-bellied Toad, the Poison-arrow Frog, the Japanese Giant Salamander as well as the extinct Ichtyostega, the first creature to have left the water millions of years ago.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Fun With Nature

by Mel Boring, Diane L. Burns and Leslie Dendy

HARDCOVER
Field Guides & Activity Books
Animals  : Various Classes

As an informative and educational "Take-Along Guide" for young naturalists, this illustrated handbook comprises 6 sections, each of which is also published separately: Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies; Snakes, Salamanders and Lizards; Frogs, Toads and Turtles; Rabbits, Squirrels and Chipmunks; Tracks, Scats and Signs; and, Trees, Leaves and Bark. The animals of the first four sections are each illustrated in color and described by What it Looks Like, What it Eats and Where to Find It. The section of tracks, scats and signs, organized by forest, field and pond, examines the clues to identifying animals found each habitat. Young naturalists can also identify trees using detailed illustrations and descriptions of leaves, bark and seeds. A variety of activities are also included such as making "stained glass" animals, turtle and rabbit paperweights, frog puzzles, a leaf mobile, squirrel nut-balls and pinecone snackbars for birds, chipmunk swimming pools and a rabbit refuge. This books provides children hours of discovery and fun in nature.

See also:
More Fun with Nature. Chapters include "Berries, Nuts and Seeds", "Birds, Nests and Eggs", "Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads", "Seashells, Crabs and Sea Stars", and "Wildflowers, Blooms and Blossoms".

See also, published separately:
Mel Boring's Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies
Diane Burns' Snakes, Salamanders and Lizards
Diane Burns' Frogs, Toads and Turtles
Mel Boring's Rabbits, Squirrels and Chipmunks
Leslie Dendy's Tracks, Scats and Signs
Diane Burns' Trees, Leaves and Bark
Diane Burns' Wildflowers, Blooms & Blossoms
Diane Burns' Berries, Nuts, And Seeds
Mel Boring's Birds, Nests & Eggs
Christiane Kunp Tibbitts' Seashells, Crabs & Sea Stars
Mel Boring's Flamingos, Loons & Pelicans
Laura Evert 's Planets, Moons and Stars
Laura Evert 's Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads

        Grades: 3rd & up

  Fur, Feathers, and Flippers

by Patricia Lauber

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Various Classes

A stunning photo-essay that explores through clear text and beautiful color photographs five different habitats -- the Antarctic seas, the African grasslands, the New England forests, the Southwestern desert and the Northern tundra. In each ecosystem, Lauber vividly describes the interactive and interdependent lives of the animals and plants and their particular adaptations to their habitat.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Gone Forever!

by Sandra and William Markle

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

As an alphabet of extinct animals, this engrossing and thought-provoking book describes the complex issue of the extinction of various species -- extinction due to natural causes, but primarily in relation to human intervention and factors. This picture book includes descriptions of the behavior and habitat of extinct species once found in various regions of the world, most of which disappeared just during the last few centuries.

Vivid detailed illustrations and lively informative text describe extinct species of every letter of the alphabet: auroch, Atlas Bear, cisco, dodo bird, elephant bird, Palestinian painted frog, great auk, heath hen, Portuguese ibex, Arizona jaguar, Norfolk Island kaka, Barbary lion, moa, Oahu Nukupu'u, Syrian onager, passenger pigeon, quagga, Captain Maclear's rat, Steller's sea cow, Rodriguez greater tortoise, Utah Lake sculpin, Gull Island vole, Tasmanian wolf, xerces blue butterfly, Cuban yellow bat and Burchell's zebra.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Grizzly Bear (First Wonder of Nature Board Books)

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Through simple, rhythmic text and beautiful illustrations toddlers and preschoolers can follow grizzly bear cubs from their awakening in the spring until their finding a new den in the fall. This board book will instill an appreciation of an endangered species and the natural world in young children.

      Grades: Preschool

  Hawk Hill

by Suzie Gilbert

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

A raptor rehabilitation center forms the setting of this moving story about a boy who cares for an injured hawk that he must eventually set free and the compassionate relationship he develops with the elderly woman who teaches him about raptors. Accurate, beautiful illustrations provide either a human or bird's perspective of scenes portraying various species of raptors and the two rehabilitators.

Reviewed in Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Here is Antarctica

by Madeleine Dunphy

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Various Classes

The "cold world of ice" with "icebergs all jagged and spiked" forms the setting of this introduction to the web of life that inhabits the coast and waters of the Antarctic ecosystem. Through rhythmic, repeating text and detailed images young children can learn about the interdependency among seals, orcas, krill, skua, silverfish and penguins that swim, fly and feed across the vibrantly painted pages. A description of Antarctica, its wildlife and its environmental threats supplements the text.

For more information about protecting Antarctica, visit:
Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition

To learn more visit:
The American Museum of Natural History’s Antarctica: The Farthest Place Close to Home
Cool Antarctica’s Antarctica Schools Resources

See also:
Helen Cowcher's, Antarctica
Mary Cerullo's, Life Under Ice
Kathy Conlan's, Under the Ice
Meredith Hooper's Antarctic Journal
Jennifer Owings Dewey's Antarctic Journal: Four Months at the Bottom of the World
Brenda Guiberson's, The Emperor Lays an Egg
Martin Jenkins', The Emperor's Egg
Judy Sierra's Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Here is the Arctic Winter

by Madeleine Dunphy

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Various Classes

Through rhythmic, repetitive verses and lyrical paintings the vast, moonlit Arctic winter reveals the austere beauty of life in the "cold world of white" -- the wolves, caribou, snowshoe hares, snowy owls and polar bears that move along the icy surface as well as the seals, fish, and narwhals that swim in the frigid waters beneath the Northern Lights. The animals presented are linked in the food chain as they survive the endless night of the Arctic winter.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Home at Last

by April Pulley Sayre

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

The amazing journeys of migrating animals are followed through vibrant, colorful pastel illustrations as they swim in streams and oceans, walk single file or in herds, crawl over rocks and roads, fly through the skies or flutter over mountains -- some just a mile, others thousands of miles halfway around the world. Warblers, salmon, sea turtles, monarch butterflies, gray whales, caribou, spiny lobsters, Arctic terns and wood frogs, all migrate until they are "home at last".

      Grades: Kindergarten to 2nd

  Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds

by Victoria Crenson

HARDCOVER
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

For many years, hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs have made a journey each spring, crawling from the depths of Delaware Bay to the sandy shores to lay their eggs. The millions of green, pearly eggs on the beaches, fed upon by scavengers, are an especially important source of nourishment for starving migrating shorebirds traveling thousands of miles north from the tip of South America to their nesting grounds in the Arctic. This picture book explores an intricate food web as well as the life cycle of creatures that have been on the Earth even before the dinosaurs and whose eggs play a unique, key role in the survival of migrating shorebirds.

See also:
Ruth Horowitz's Crab Moon
Nancy Carol Willis' Red Knot: A Shorebird's Incredible Journey

To learn more about efforts to save horseshoe crabs and shorebirds, visit:

ERDG's Horseshoe Crab Conservation Network
Delaware Audubon's Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary

        Grades: 2nd to 4th

  The Hunter

by Paul Geraghty

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Discovering a young elephant by the side of its dead mother, Jamina sees something of the sorrow a hunter can cause. As she tries to help the baby elephant, we travel with her. From the details of a yellow and black dragonfly perched on a wet fern to the expanses of African plains silhouetted against orange sky, these dramatic illustrations focus on the small details as well as the great open spaces where large elephant herds once roamed. The Hunter helps us to see each elephant as an individual and, hence, better empathize with its plight." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  I Wish I Were a Butterfly

by James Howe

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Spineless Creatures

"Butterflies are insects and what better way to introduce the family of insects than with I Wish I Were A Butterfly, a story about a cricket who is so enamored with the beautiful butterfly that he is oblivious of his own fine qualities. . . . Ed Young's beautiful pastel illustrations are full of light, shadow and mystery." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1995) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Ice Bear and Little Fox

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

As Nanuq, the young polar bear, learns to live the first year on his own in the polar landscape, he is followed by the Arctic fox that forms a symbiotic relationship in which both help each other in the harsh landscape of the Northern region. Over the months the trailing fox feeds on leftovers of the bear and in turn vigilantly warns the bear of the presence of other predators -- each help the other to survive. The full-page watercolor illustrations of close-ups of the animals and of the panoramic landscapes as well as the entrancing, realistic text will captivate young children as they learn of the harshness of survival in the Arctic for these animals and also of the importance of the role of cooperation between them. The "Afterword" incorporates the Eskimo, or Inuit, background of these Arctic inhabitants.

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Carol Carrick's, Polar Bears Are Hungry,
Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions,
Nicola Davie's, Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear

by Nicola Davies

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

According to some scientists, when humans came to the Arctic region 40,000 years ago, they learned how to survive in the icy landscape by observing the skills of Nanuk, or polar bear. Recounted from the perspective of an Inuit observer, Ice Bear describes the unique physical adaptations of the polar bear to its frigid environment, its formidable skills in hunting seals as well as its role as a caring mother, a tireless swimmer or a gentle playmate. The stunning oil paintings by Gary Blythe evoke the ethereal beauty of the Northern landscape that is home to one of the largest of land mammals. An afterword briefly mentions the effects of global warming on the polar bears' habitat and simple steps to help preserve their Arctic home.

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Carol Carrick's, Polar Bears Are Hungry,
Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions,
Jonathan London's, Ice Bear and Little Fox, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  In the Company of Whales

by Alexandra Morton

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

Presented as a year-long journal entry, In the Company of Whales is an intimate account by Alexandra Morton of her observations of orcas near her home off the Western Coast of British Columbia. She describes the fascinating interactions of orcas within their families as well as with related pods and other marine mammals. Children can learn about the fish feeding patterns of resident orcas that differ from the hunting of marine mammals by the transient orca pods. There are numerous sidebars for readers to learn in more detail about the unique physical traits and fascinating behaviors of orcas – echolocation, dialects, feeding patterns and “greetings” of sunrises and sunsets -- as well as information about several other inhabitants that share their ocean habitat.

See also:http://raincoastresearch.org/orca.htm

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Insectlopedia

by Douglas Florian

HARDCOVER
Animals : Spineless Creatures

"This lighthearted book of poems will delight children of all ages. It humorously describes insects as they go about eating or being eaten or trying not to be eaten. Paintings illustrate camouflage, poison, movement, and life cycles." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1998) published by CCEL.

Twenty-one captivating poems about spiders and insects include: "The Caterpillar", "The Dragonfly", "The Daddy Longlegs", "The Army Ants", "The Inchworm", "The Praying Mantis", "The Black Widow Spider", "The Io Moth", "The Whirligig Beetles", "The Weevils", "The Walkingstick", "The Hornet", "The Treehoppers", "The Mosquitoes", "The Monarch Butterfly", "The Giant Water Bug", "The Termites", "The Crickets", "The Locusts", "The Ticks" and "The Mayfly".

        Grades: 2nd to 6th

  Into the Sea

by Brenda Guiberson

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Reptiles

The life cycle of a female sea turtle from the night it hatches on a moonlit beach and crawls to the ocean where it grows, then after more than twenty years instinctively returns to the place of its birth will engage young readers by the vivid, striking illustrations and direct prose. The turtle's travels and encounters with other ocean creatures form a lucid foundation of information about oceanography as well as endangered species.

      Grades: 1st to 3rd

  Into the Woods: John James Audubon Lives His Dream

by Robert Burleigh

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Birds

"Who can imagine my dear country’s dark woods, its great forests, its vast Atlantic bays, its thousands of streams, lakes, and magnificent rivers? I wish that I could draw it all! " Quotes from the journal of John J. Audubon, naturalist and artist, complement an imaginary letter to his father explaining his decision to abandon a life in commerce and instead pursue his dream to study and draw nature. The narrative and images portray Audubon’s enthusiasm, respect and admiration for the natural world, especially birds. Minor’s stunning, lyrical watercolors, depicting Audubon observing and painting birds in the wilderness, evoke the beauty of the 19th century American landscape. Several of Audubon’s paintings of birds -- swallow, cardinal, cormorant, hawk, duck, dove and warbler --exemplify the vivid, detailed execution of the artist's work. Into the Woods is a moving, poetic tribute to one of America’s great naturalists.

See also:
Jennifer Armstrong's Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier to learn about the life and adventures of Audubon
Jacqueline Davies' The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon to learn about the young Audubon's observations of birds and his use of the technique of banding to study migration
Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, an amusing picture book about Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall who, during the 1890’s in reaction to the latest women's fashion of adorning hats with whole dead birds, started the Massachusetts Audubon Society to protect birds.

To learn more, visit:
National Audubon Society and Audubon’s Birds of America

      Grades: 2nd & up

  Jaguar in the Rain Forest

by Joanne Ryder

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

The imaginative transformation of a boy into a jaguar invites the reader to explore the lifestyle and habitat of this animal -- climbing through the forest trees, observing the movements of other animals in the canopy, hunting stealthily on the forest floor at night and experiencing the vivid sounds and sights of the rain forest habitat. Close-up and expansive views of the jaguar's movements in the paintings, showing the dense foliage and inhabitants of the setting that was inspired by the tropical rain forests of French Guiana, enhance this fascinating excursion into the rain forest habitat.

      Grades: 1st to 3rd

  Light Shining Through the Mist

by Tom L. Matthews

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

The inspiring life and work of Dian Fossey is presented in this fascinating photobiography that centers on her field studies of the mountain gorillas in the Virunga area of central Africa and her controversial conservation efforts to preserve these primates. Stunning photographs of Fossey in the field interacting with gorillas, close-ups of these primates in the wild, and images of Fossey at work in her camp complement the text that follows Fossey's early fascination with Africa, her association with Louis Leakey, her experiences in the war-torn Congo and then in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park where she established the renown Karisoke Research Center. While caring for two orphaned infant gorillas, Fossey learned their vocalizations which she then used to interact more closely with gorillas in the field studying their behavior and social interactions. Her "active conservation" efforts against poachers and direct involvement in preserving the gorillas' habitat created much controversy and animosity against her work -- in 1985 she was found murdered in Karisoke. A bibliography listing her articles and books follows the text as well as weblinks to sites of information about primates and wildlife conservation efforts.

      Grades: All

  The Living Rain Forest

by Paul Kratter

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Various Classes

The twenty-six animals of this alphabet book offer a fascinating glimpse of the millions of species inhabiting tropical rain forests. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects found in these habitats that "cover only six percent of the earth’s land yet contain over half its animal and plant species," are pictured in beautiful, detailed close-up images. Amazon River Dolphins, Morpho Butterflies, Parsons’ Chameleons, Leaf Katydids, Three-toed Sloths and Mountain Gorillas are several of the amazing creatures included from the five continents where tropical rain forests are located. Brief descriptions that cite unique adaptations of each animal to its habitat complement the illustrations of these animals whose habitats are threatened by global warming, deforestation and overhunting.

For more information visit:
Rainforest Action Network
Rainforest Alliance

See also:
Kristin Joy Pratt's A Walk in the Rainforest,
Lynne Cherry's The Great Kapok Tree,
Madeleine Dunphy's Here is the Tropical Rain Forest, and
Rebecca Johnson's A Walk in the Rain Forest

        Grades: Preschool to 5th

  Monarchs

by Kathryn Lasky

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"On the leaf of a milkweed plant in Maine, a monarch butterfly lays a miniscule egg. Soon a caterpillar hatches, and before long a new butterfly flutters in the breeze. Within its lifetime this tiny monarch will fly more than two thousand miles on a mysterious migration south. On the way it will join millions of other migrating monarchs. At the end of their journey these monarchs will be greeted by people whose lives have been changed by their beauty and mystery. Every year in Pacific Grove, California, the townspeople hold a parade to welcome the butterflies after their arduous flight. And in a small village in Michoacan, Mexico, where millions of wintering butterflies hang from trees, the villagers are replacing logging with tourism to preserve the monarch's fragile habitat. Photographs by Christopher Knight offer a unique view of the life cycle of this fascinating butterfly and into the lives of people touches by its magic." Review in Nature's Course (November/December 1995) published by CCEL.

See also:

Tony Johnston’s Isabel's House of Butterflies
Laurence Pringle's An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly
Bruce Coville's The Prince of Butterflies
Connie Muther’s My Monarch Journal -- an outstanding guide to raising monarchs that also includes a section for parents and teachers.

For more information, visit:
Journey North – a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change, including monarch butterflies.
Monarch Watch of the University of Kansas
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Monarch Lab for monarchs in the classroom.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Moon Glowing

by Elizabeth Partridge

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

As the autumn leaves fall a squirrel, beaver, bear and bat busily ready for the coming winter. The squirrel is stashing, the bat swooping, the beaver building and the bear feasting. The beautiful collage artwork then fades to the stillness of winter as the four woodland animals sleep under a big, glowing moon.

      Grades: Preschool to 1st

  A Mother's Journey

by Sandra Markle

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

During the two months of winter that the father penguin incubates the egg, the mother Emperor Penguin leaves the breeding ground to cross the icy landscape to the open sea in search of food. Readers can follow her journey as she travels in a group with other female penguins through the blustery winds and storms of the bitter Antarctic winter across the icy landscape to the ocean in order to feed herself and store food for her newly hatched chick. The book provides a fascinating insight into female Emperor Penguin behavior with luminous watercolor imagery depicting the life of these amazing creatures in the icy landscape of the Antarctic winter.

For more information, visit National Geographic for Kids at: www.nationalgeographic.com/kids/creature_feature/0101/penguins.html

See also: Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions
Brenda Guiberson's, The Emperor Lays an Egg
Martin Jenkins', The Emperor's Egg
Michelle McKenzie's, Penguin Chick, and
Judy Sierra's Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  My Season with Penguins

by Sophie Webb

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Birds

This is an Antarctic journal, a two-month diary of the artist/biologist Sophie Webb as she tracks the Adelie penguins in their breeding colony during the summer months in Antarctica. The delicate watercolor, gouache and graphite illustrations of the journal and the first-hand descriptions interspersed with scientific information provide an intimate and unforgettable glimpse into the habitat, behavior and antics of the Adelies as well as the experiences of the field scientists studying the ecosystem of these amazing animals.

To learn more visit:
The American Museum of Natural History’s Antarctica: The Farthest Place Close to Home
Cool Antarctica’s Antarctica Schools Resources


See also:
Kathy Conlan's, Under the Ice,
Meredith Hooper's Antarctic Journal , and
Jennifer Owings Dewey's Antarctic Journal: Four Months at the Bottom of the World

        Grades: 5th & up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Amphibians

by Brian Cassie

PAPERBACK
Animals : Amphibians
Field Guides & Activity Books 

As with other field guides of this series, this National Audubon First Field Guide to Amphibians provides an excellent source for young naturalists to learn about amphibians. The guide includes a discussion of their senses, behavior, life cycle, reproduction, diet, motility, defense mechanisms and habitats as well as information about finding and identifying amphibians in the field. Brilliant detailed photographs provide a valuable source for classification of species. A glossary, reference section and resource section are also included.

        Grades: 3rd to 6th

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Birds

by Scott Weidensaul

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Vivid detailed photographs with explanations about characteristic behavior, markings and range of habitats of various bird species provide young naturalists and adults an excellent, basic guide to the world of birds found in the United States and Canada.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Insects

by Christina Wilsdon

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This excellent field guide with vivid, detailed photographs unfolds the world of insects, spiders and other arthropods of North America to the young naturalist. The guide, which includes a laminated field spotting card, also contains information about poisonous, rare and endangered species as well as a reference section with glossary and resources for further study.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Mammals

by John Grassy & Chuck I. Keene

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This excellent field guide of North American mammals, resplendent with beautiful, detailed photographs, provides information about their behavior, physical characteristics and habitats. Information about threatened and endangered species, as well as a waterproof field spotting card, are provided for the young naturalist.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Reptiles

by John L. Behler

PAPERBACK
Animals : Reptiles
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This field guide provides an excellent, basic introduction to the world of reptiles -- their behavior, physical characteristics, evolution and habitats -- complemented by vivid, color photographs of various reptile species found in North America.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  Natural Treasures Field Guide for Kids

by Elizabeth Biesiot

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History, this introductory field guide of North American animals is organized by the four seasons and uses sensory clues to encourage children to explore and observe their environment. Using a double-sided format, a page of sight, smell, sound and evidence clues complements the facing page that describes the animal who left the clue. Watercolor illustrations of clues and creatures aid in the process of identification.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Nutik, the Wolf Pup

by Jean Craighead George

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

The bond of a boy and a wolf pup is evocatively described by Jean Craighead George in this picture book for youngsters that leads into the classic trilogy for older readers by this same author of The Epic Adventures of Julie and Her Wolves: Julie of the Wolves, Julie, Julie's Wolf Pack. Although Amaroq, a young Eskimo, is warned by his older sister Julie not to become too close to a sick wolf pup for which he is caring, a mutual bond develops between the two that is tested when the wolf pack returns for the pup. The Arctic landscape is lyrically portrayed in illustrations by Ted Rand who traveled to the tundra to experience the setting first-hand.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  An Octopus is Amazing

by Patricia Lauber

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures

A lucid text with simple drawings provides children information about this fascinating creature and shows how an octopus is truly amazing -- its color changing ability, its hunting maneuvers and its own defenses when hunted, based on its unique physical adaptations. The intricate construction of strings of eggs by the female octopus in her den, the problem solving abilities of the octopus in obtaining food, its playfulness with people (including squirting persons that annoy them) will unveil to youngsters the wonders of this animal.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  On the Brink of Extinction: The California Condor

by Caroline Arnold

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"This information-packed text tells the dramatic story of the struggle to save one endangered species. Because of habitat loss, shooting, and poisoning by DDT, California Condor populations dwindled, despite everything scientists could learn or do to help birds in the wild. Captive breeding seemed to be the last hope. Color photographs reveal the fascinating but difficult steps required to raise an adult bird from one small, vulnerable egg. The ultimate message is hopeful, with pictures of soaring condors making clear the ultimate goal: reestablishing the birds in the wild." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1994) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Orangutan (First Wonder of Nature Board Books)

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

This board book will captivate toddlers and preschoolers by its rhythmic verse about baby orangutans as they play and swing through the branches of a rain forest. Cherry's beautiful illustrations and text help young children discover and appreciate an endangered species.

      Grades: Preschool

  Over in the Arctic

by Marianne Berkes

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Various Classes

Set to a traditional song, "Over in the Arctic" is a fun-filled counting book in which kids can explore animals that live on land and sea in the Arctic. As wolves howl, wolverines growl, migrating snow geese honk, snowy owls swoop through skies and polar bears roll on ice, children can learn about the behavior of ten Arctic animals and their family units, as well as find "hidden" animals amongst the beautiful cut paper illustrations. Following the verse, there are suggestions for extended activities, additional information about the Arctic, its inhabitants and their adaptations to their habitat, as well as music for the tune of the song, "Over in the Meadow".

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also:
Carol Carrick's, Polar Bears Are Hungry
Madeleine Dunphy's, Here is the Arctic Winter
Jonathan London's, Ice Bear and Little Fox
Frank Asch's, Song of the North
Debbie S. Miller's, Artic Light Arctic Nights
Debbie S. Miller's, Caribou Journey

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Owen and Mzee

by Craig Hatkoff

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

This is a true, remarkable story of an unlikely friendship between a baby hippo and a 130 year old giant tortoise. Having been stranded on a reef off the coast of Kenya after the devastating tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean in December 2004 a baby hippo was rescued by villagers and visitors in Malindi and relocated to Haller Park, an animal sanctuary in Mombasa. There a remarkable friendship soon emerged between the hippo, Owen, and an old loner tortoise named Mzee, whose name means "wild old man" in Swahili. Numerous close-up photos of Owen and Mzee show the unexpected bond and companionship between two very different beings. As the authors note, "Our most important friends are sometimes those we least expected."

      Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  Owl Moon

by Jane Yolen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

" 'When you go owling you don't need words or warm or anything but hope.' Thus begins this magical story of a young girl and her father who go owling late one cold winter night. Their journey takes them through tall dark trees and over the moon shadows that the trees cast on the crisp, white snow. The girl's father calls out a number of times, but there is no sign of owls … no answer. Just when the girl has nearly given up, the call of a great horned owl resounds through the silence. Delicate wintry illustrations evoke the moods and sensations of walking through the woods at night in the snow." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

A Caldecott Medal winner (1988). Recommended in Nature's Course (January/February 1997) published by CCEL.

      Grades: Preschool to 1st

  Owls: On Silent Wings (The Wonder Series)

by Ann C. Cooper

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Legends of owls retold from Native American legends as well as activities such as games, origami and coloring pages introduce children to the habitat, behavior, nesting and hunting of these birds. The "Owl Fortune Teller" game explores the repercussions of habitat loss on the Northern spotted owl. As part of The Wonder Series, this book, illustrated in black and white, is published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Pagoo

by Holling Clancy Holling

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Spineless Creatures

The ocean ecosystem, in particular tide pools, is explored through the adventurous life story of Pagoo, a hermit crab.

"Like most of Holling Clancy Holling's books, Pagoo is a classic, as relevant today as when it was written in 1957. It is a wonderful book to begin teaching about the ocean ecosystem. Holling's water color illustrations are evocative of the watery world they depict." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (September/October 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 3rd to 9th

  Penguin Chick

by Michelle McKenzie

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Birds

Young children will delight in the vibrant images of a newborn penguin chick as it learns to feed, preen, swim and search for food. Published by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this board book describes a blackfooted penguin species found along the coast of Southern Africa whose population is currently declining.

      Grades: Preschool

  A Pika's Tail

by Sally Plumb

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals

The endearing story of the pika, Beejer, who continuously calls for the lost tails of pikas until his close encounter with Hunter, the weasel, will captivate children. Realistic illustrations complement vivid descriptions of mountain wildlife.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  A Place for Birds

by Melissa Stewart

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

A Place for birds is more than just an introduction to birds – it examines a variety of environmental issues that have affected bird populations and describes ways people have joined together to help birds. Twelve different species of North American birds are pictured in vivid, colorful, double-page paintings, depicted in natural habitats, rural landscapes and cityscapes. Maps have also been included to show the range of each species. The author Stewart notes, " sometimes people do things that make it hard for birds to live and grow. " Common murres were harmed by oil spills and the bald eagle by pesticides; populations of the spotted owl have declined due to logging of the old-growth forests; and, native habitats of the crested honeycreepers of Hawaii were destroyed by pigs and goats that escaped from farms. Every year many songbirds, including Northern cardinals, are harmed by cats. People of different ages and backgrounds have joined together to protect birds: by providing nesting boxes for the Eastern bluebird, by protecting grasslands of an air reserve base for nesting grasshopper sparrows, by fencing off the beach nesting sites of piping plovers, by dimming the lights of buildings in Chicago during the hermit thrush migration and by restoring native habitat for the Kirtland’s Warbler. Children in a Florida elementary school spent five years to raise money to purchase twenty acres of scrubland habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay. Since animals rely on birds as a food source and plants depend on birds to spread their seeds, people can help nature by planting gardens that protect birds.

See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Butterflies

To learn about creating a wildlife habitat, visit: The National Wildlife Federation

To learn more about birds, see also:
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World
Mel Boring's Birds, Nests & Eggs
Roger Tory Peterson's Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  A Polar Bear Journey

by Debbie S. Miller

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Habitats & Ecosystems 

This illustrated story follows a Beaufort Sea polar bear from when she gives birth in a den to two cubs through the time the cubs venture out into the frozen landscape to learn survival skills from their mother. Through the acrylic images and informative narrative, children can learn about the behavior, diet and adaptations of these mammals -- how the mother prepares her den and how the cubs are born and later learn to hunt for seals, swim in the icy waters and survive in the Arctic habitat. The cubs of this story were born on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an important wildlife region that is a denning area for polar bears.

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Nicola Davie's, Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear,
Jonathan London's, Ice Bear and Little Fox, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House.

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  The Polar Bears Are Hungry

by Carol Carrick

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

This is an endearing story of a mother polar bear struggling to care for her cubs in the Arctic. As temperatures rise, the task of finding food, primarily seals, to feed herself and her cubs becomes a difficult task. As a result, the mother bear and her two cubs end up scavenging in areas where humans live to find food. In the "Author's Note", Carrick examines the importance of hunting specifically on ice in order for polar bears to catch seals and mentions the affects of global warming in shortening the ice hunting season, thereby leaving mother polar bears in a weakened condition to feed their cubs.

For more information about polar bears, visit World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker.

To help protect the polar ice caps, visit NRDC's BioGems Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

See also: Nicola Davie's, Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear,
Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions,
Jonathan London's, Ice Bear and Little Fox, and
Jane Yolen's, Welcome to the Ice House.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Red Knot

by Nancy Carol Willis

HARDCOVER
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Follow the amazing annual migration of a red knot shorebird as it makes a 20,000 mile round-trip voyage from Tierra del Fuego, at the tip of South America, past the Brazilian Amazon to the Arctic tundra where it nests and raises its young. During the hemisphere-long journey, this bird stops at several shores to replenish its energy by feeding on mussels, worms and clams alongside other shorebirds. The timing of its arrival in Delaware Bay coincides with the annual spawning of horseshoe crabs whose eggs are a valuable source of food to these migratory birds. Besides information about the banding of birds, other sandpipers and shorebird species, a glossary, chronological presentation and range map, this illustrated picture book also includes information about the importance of Delaware Bay to the survival of this species as well as the conservation efforts to protect the plummeting numbers of the red knot. As a result of the effects of food shortages, loss of habitat, predation and bad weather, the red knot population has fallen from 100,000 in 1994 to 13,500 in 2005.

See also:
Victoria Crenson's Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds: The Story of a Food Web

To learn more about red knots, visit:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds

To learn more about the efforts to save red knots, horseshoe crabs and other shorebirds, visit:
BirdLife International
American Bird Conservacy
Endangered Species Coalition
ShorebirdWorld
The Shorebird Project
ERDG's Horseshoe Crab Conservation Network
Friends of the Red Knot

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  Red Wolf Country

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"She-Wolf has a secret. She and her mate are on the move, traveling through wetlands and snow covered forests. The earth stands still to listen to their song as they howl beneath the moonlit sky. They hunt together preying upon rabbits or swamp crabs. They are in search of a den. As they near a farmhouse a farmer shoots at them and they lunge into a cold icy river to escape. Struggling to survive, they search for higher and more distant lands far from humans. In spring their pups are born and we are left hoping that humans will allow them to live in their world.

Jonathan London magnificently captures the spirit of these great creatures while Daniel San Souci's illustrations reflect the true beauty of the endangered red wolf. In 1987, red wolves were released into wilderness areas. Now over one hundred inhabit the lands of 'Red Wolf Country': Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Bull Island, Horn Island, St. Vincent Island and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Roland Smith, the former red wolf species coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service writes in an afterword an informative history about the red wolf." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Winter 1999) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Safe, Warm, and Snug

by Stephen R. Swinburne

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes

The parental behavior of protecting unborn eggs and young offspring is recounted to young children in this brightly illustrated picture book showing examples of fish, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals throughout the world. Young fry swim into the mouths of the mother cichlid as a hungry catfish approaches, a joey hides in the pouch of the mother kangaroo from a dingo, while baby bats and sloths safely cling to their mother as she moves about. The caring of the unborn is shown by the father emperor penguin who in the freezing cold of the Antarctic climate incubates the egg, by the mother Surinam toad that carries tadpoles in the egg pouches on its back, by the python that coils around a mound of eggs she warms and protects, and by the cockroach and sea horse that carry their eggs till hatching. Although there are predators that lurk around the eggs and young offspring, the lighthearted text and colorful drawings focus on the caring aspect of parental behavior, rather than on the ominous danger of the predator. "How Animals Protect Their Young" follows the verse to supplement information about each species' protection of its young.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Salamander Room

by Anne Mazer

PAPERBACK
Animals : Amphibians

"A young child finds a salamander in the woods and wishes to take it home with him. By the time the boy has considered all the needs of the salamander, he has imagined importing bullfrogs and insects, birds, tall trees and vines, lifting the roof off his room so the sunlight and the rain can come in, and inviting salamander friends, so that the first will not get lonely. He consequently realizes that his bedroom is not an appropriate home for this creature. Soft, imaginative illustrations portray the natural features -- plants, insects, frogs, birds, and sunlight -- that the boy envisions in his bedroom." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Salmon Creek

by Annette LeBox & Karen Reczuch

HARDCOVER
Animals : Fish
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Lyrical text and full-page illustrations follow the life cycle of Sumi, a Coho salmon, in this moving picture book. The voyage takes readers from Sumi's birth in a creek of the Pacific Northwest and her trip down a river to her new home in the ocean which she inhabits until her determined journey several years later back to her birthplace where she spawns and dies. "Home is the scent of cedar and creek. Home is the journey's end." -- words she heard at the beginning of her life which she sings later to her own eggs. Factual life cycle follows the text and a description of the environmental threats facing Pacific salmon.

        Grades: 1st & up

  A Salmon for Simon

by Betty Waterton & Ann Blades

PAPERBACK
Animals : Fish
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Simon, a Pacific Northwest Native American boy, had been fishing all summer for salmon and had no luck catching a "Sukai". When an eagle accidentally drops a salmon into a clam hole pool, Simon discovers that instead he wants to try to save the big beautiful fish find its way back to the open sea. This is a simple touching story, richly illustrated, with a conservation theme for young children.

        Grades: Pre-School to 2nd

  Salmon Forest

by David Suzuki & Sarah Ellis

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Fish

As Kate and her father explore the spawning area of sockeye salmon in the woods of the Pacific rain forest, her dad explains the life cycle of these fish as well as the interconnecting web amongst the forest, salmon and the animals that feed on the fish. The nutrients from the salmon feed insects, birds, bears and, ultimately, the forest. In turn, the forest contributes to maintaining a habitat for these fish by conserving the soil and shading the streams. At the end of their exploration, Kate and her dad meet with Native friends in the woods to share a meal of salmon, like the bears, birds, insects and trees. The vibrant watercolor illustrations bring to life the imagery of the life cycle of the sockeye salmon and the Pacific rain forest ecosystem.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World

by Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Efforts to save six different species of birds threatened with extinction were undertaken by people throughout the world -- scientists, entertainers, farmers, indigenous peoples and children -- in cloud forests, islands, wetlands, cities and jungles. Salmansohn and Kress of the Audubon Society take readers around the globe to witness the work of these heroes: to China, where winter wetland feeding grounds for black-necked cranes are restored by the joint endeavors of impoverished villagers and farmers working with a nature refuge; to Israel, where children provide nesting boxes for lesser kestrels; to New Zealand, where scientists save one of the rarest songbirds, the black robin, from the brink of extinction; to Mexico, where entertainers educate and inspire local peoples to save the quetzal that is of cultural significance; to Malaysia where feathers for Sarawak native costumes using the rhinoceros hornbill are replaced by turkey feathers; and, to California, where common murres, of which a colony was killed by an oil spill, are aided by decoys to establish a new breeding colony on the cliffs of Devil’s Slide Rock. The photographic accounts examine the various causes of the decline of the birds – habitat destruction, deforestation, oil spills, chemicals poaching and hunting. The strategies described to save a species can at times involve creative approaches such as puppet shows, may require enduring patience over years of work to obtain successful results, and may also pose dangers such as risky maneuvers on and around steep cliffs. The dedication and hard work of these caring individuals throughout the world can serve as an inspiration to readers to help protect threatened bird species around the globe.

See also:
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Project Puffin: How We Brought Puffins Back to Egg Rock
Pete Salmansohn and Stephen W. Kress' Giving Back to the Earth: A Teacher's Guide to Project Puffin and Other Seabird Studies Around the World
Linda Kenyon's Rainforest Bird Rescue
Pamela Hickman's Birds of Prey Rescue
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Birds
Bruce McMillan's A Beach for the Birds about Least Terns in Maine

To learn more about birds, visit:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds and Bird Sleuth
The National Audubon Society
The Audubon Seabird Restoration Program
BirdLife International

To learn more about the following birds, visit these websites:
Black Robins -- New Zealand's Department of Conservation
Cranes -- International Crane Foundation
Common Murres -- Common Murre Restoration Project
Hornbills -- San Diego Zoo's Animal Bytes
Lesser Kestrels -- Arkive
Quetzals -- El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, Encyclopedia of Life, and Arkive

      Grades: 4th to 8th

  Sea Critters

by Sylvia A. Earle

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Various Classes

Written for slightly younger children than "Dive!", marine biologist Sylvia Earle's "Sea Critters" delves into the beauty, diversity and classification of sea life. "Water is magical!" states Earle as she takes the reader into an exploration of the critters that inhabit the underwater realm. From sponges and stingers to a variety of worms such as the lacy, tentacled, Christmas Tree Worm, from soft-bodied mollusks as small as the brightly colored sea slug or as large as the giant squid, from critters with jointed legs and spiny-skinned creatures to the stiff-backed chordates that include the vertebrates, the vast diversity of animal life that abounds in the oceans is presented with concise, clear, informative text. The full-spread illustrated chart of "The Sea Critters' Family Tree" summarizes the categories presented in the book. Full-page, close-up color photographs as well as watercolors of the critters unveil the exquisite beauty of life found in the underwater world.

See also:
Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini's A Swim Through the Sea as well as the accompanying Teacher's Guide

      Grades: 1st to 3rd

  Sea Otter River Otter

by Sandra Chisholm Robinson

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History, this story and activity book, which the author describes as a "celebration of play", provides children with stories, projects and games to learn about sea and river otters. "Otter Hunt", an unfinished story about a boy who, while sailing on a boat hunting and trading otters pelts, becomes stranded on an island where he observes a herd of otters, is left for the young reader to complete. Working through mazes, creating origami animals and playing matching cards games, children can learn about the otters, their use of tools and the particular adaptations of sea and river otters to their differing habitats. "Guide to Otters of the World" provides a map to locate each otter species, a description of its diet, habitat and status which explains the causes of some otter species being classified as endangered, threatened or rare. This book with black-and-white illustrations also includes information about the reintroduction of river otters to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

      Grades: 1st to 6th

  Seal (First Wonder of Nature Board Books)

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Toddlers and preschoolers will be fascinated by the endangered baby harbor seals who swim in the sea of this beautifully illustrated board book of simple, rhythmic text. This captivating book creates a basis of appreciation of the natural world in the young child.

      Grades: Preschool

  Seal Journey

by Richard Sobol

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Every year during the spring thousands of harp seals are born on the ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in eastern Canada. This photo-essay recounts a fascinating journey to the birthing grounds of these seals, captured through the stunning photography of Richard Sobol who in 1993 traveled with his eight-year old son to view and photograph "the beginnings of life out on ice." Children can learn about the life cycle of these seals, the background of the hunting of "whitecoats" for their fur, and the personal encounter of a child with animals that have been a controversial symbol of wildlife conservation for decades.

To learn more about seals visit:
Seal Conservation Society

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Searching for Grizzlies

by Ron Hirschi

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Ron Hirschi and wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen take readers into The Greater Yellowstone in search of the rare, endangered grizzly bear who once roamed freely throughout most of the American West. Dramatic color photographs of bears in the wilderness and vivid descriptions provide a fascinating glimpse into behavior, feeding habits, and natural habitat of this species, one of the largest of land carnivores. Readers can follow grizzlies from the time when they awaken in the early spring to the fall when they prepare for their winter hibernation. Insets from Hirschi’s journal entries of a camping and hiking trip record actual encounters with adult bears and cubs as well as other indigenous wildlife -- black bears, coyotes, wolves, moose, elk, owls and trout --that share the grizzlies’ habitat in The Greater Yellowstone.

For more information, visit: www.savebiogems.org/bears/

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Shadows of the Night

by Barbara Bash

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals

"One of the most common bats in North America is the Little Brown Bat. . . . Barbara Bash takes us through a year in the life of a little brown bat beginning with its birth in early spring. At first the bat clings to its mother who tucks it snugly beneath her wing and carries it with her. After a few days, the mother places the baby in a 'nursery', a cluster of hundreds of other baby bats. In about three weeks, the pups begin to fly, and by the time they're a month old, they can hunt with their mothers. Late in summer, they gather and mate. As the weather cools, they head for hibernation caves where they sleep all winter waking only once or twice until spring arrives." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1995) published by CCEL.

The fascinating life cycle of the little brown bat will intrigue children, especially the depictions of the intimate relationship of the mother and pup and the first, confused attempts of the young bats to learn to fly. Besides the engrossing, lucid descriptions of this species' flight patterns and use of echolocation to hunt for insects, "More About Bats" at the end of the book provides supplementary facts about bats, the only mammals that fly, illustrations of several bat species found throughout the world and information for constructing a bat house.

See also:
Sandra Markle's Little Lost Bat

For further information, visit:
Bat Conservation international

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Siwiti -- A Whale's Story

by Alexandra Morton

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

Siwiti – A Whale’s Story is the captivating insight into the first year in the life of an orca off the coast of British Columbia in western Canada. Basing Siwiti’s adventures on events witnessed over 11 years of observing orcas, marine researcher Alexandra Morton narrates the year-long adventures of a young killer whale from the moment when she is born and comes to the surface of the ocean to take her first breath. As Siwiti grows under the watchful care of her family, she interacts and plays with her group and other pods of orcas, learns to “see” through sound to chase down salmon, encounters seals, porpoises, deer and humans, explores the mysterious underwater kelp forest and narrowly escapes from aggressive stellar sea lions. Stunning photographs by Robin and Alexandra Morton capture close-up views of the orcas and the magnificent beauty of the ocean habitat in the Pacific Northwest that is home to Siwiti’s pod.

See also:http://raincoastresearch.org/orca.htm

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  The Snail's Spell

by Joanne Ryder

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Spineless Creatures

"Here is a chance to glide through the garden as a snail would, eating bits of lettuce leaf, touching things with feelers, then resting, tucked inside a hard shell for safety. The delightfully detailed illustrations depict the garden from the snail's perspective -- flowers, vegetables, and clods of dirt -- up close." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Snakes Are Hunters

by Patricia Lauber

PAPERBACK
Animals : Reptiles

Simple drawings and a lucid description of the physical characteristics and behavior of these reptiles provide a basic introduction to the world of snakes, in particular the garter snake and the rattlesnake, and their roles both as predator and prey.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Snow Leopard (First Wonder of Nature Board Books)

by Lynne Cherry

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Cherry's beautifully illustrated board book introduces toddlers and preschoolers to the mountain world of an endangered baby snow leopard and instills a basic appreciation of the natural world in the young child.

      Grades: Preschool

  Snowy White World to Save

by Stephanie Lisa Tara

HARDCOVER
Environmental Themes : Global Warming
Animals  : Mammals

This large format picture book with beautiful watercolor illustrations offers young children a glimpse at the Arctic world of the polar bear and the impact of global warming. The short verses vividly depict how a mother bear with her two cubs thrive in this pristine, icy world and hunt for food; but as the ice floes melt, they are forced to seek food from piles of garbage. The book concludes with an upbeat note that kids can take action to save this "snowy white world" of the polar bear, listing a number of simple everyday actions to help stop global warming as well as websites to learn more about this important issue.

See also: Carol Carrick's, Polar Bears Are Hungry

To learn more about global warming and polar bears visit:
ClimateCrisis.net
Polar Bear SOS
NRDC's website on Global Warming
StopGlobalWarming.org
World Wildlife Fund's Polar Bear Tracker, and
BioGems website Polar Bears on Thin Ice to find a Kid's Polar Action Guide.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Somewhere in the Ocean

by Jennifer Ward & T.J. Marsh

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

As children seek to find numbers hidden on the pages of this colorful counting book, they encounter the activities of the diverse inhabitants of the sea. Set to the traditional tune of "Over in the Meadow", the rhythmic, moving verse and colorful, full-page paintings abound with marine animal mothers and their young in their natural habitats -- otters feed in kelp forests; octopuses squirt in a coral reef den; clownfish nestle in an anemone; manatees, orcas, sea turtles, tiger sharks and jellyfish swim through the ocean; and, hermit crabs dress in different shells in a tide pool. "Fun Facts" about each species as well as the "Musical Score" to the verse complement the lively text and images.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Song of the North

by Frank Asch

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

Levin's beautiful photography of the animals of the North complements Asch's poetry about an Arctic animal whose song is heard by another Northern inhabitant -- the salmon by the humpback whale, the walrus by the polar bear, the puffin by the bald eagle, the Dall sheep by the marmot, the caribou by the owl, the moose by the beaver, the bear by the red fox -- and, lastly, the song of the Land of the North by a young girl touching the ground to listen. The rhythmic verse and stunning images unveil the lyrical beauty of the Arctic landscape and its inhabitants.

      Grades: Kindergarten and up

  Spoonbill Swamp

by Brenda Guiberson

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Various Classes

"In this colorful and lively story, young readers spend the day with a mother spoonbill as she searches for food for her chicks while her mate protects the babies, and a mother alligator also searches for food -- which just might be the spoonbill! We see the wetland ecosystem, the balance of nature and the way animals protect their young." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1996) published by CCEL.

The afterword, "Bird and the Beast", describes the similarities and differences of the alligator and roseate spoonbill in terms of their physical characteristics and behavior. It also mentions their former near extinction when they were hunted for the fashion market and the present threat they face of the destruction of their environment.

See also:
Brenda Guiberson's Mud City to learn about the flamingos in Inagua National Park in the Bahamas.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Spotted Owlets

by Victoria Miles

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Birds

This picture booklet will captivate young readers as they discover a family of northern spotted owls in its unique habitat of the ancient old-growth forest. Stunning colored illustrations of the young owlets perched in the giant Douglas firs depict these nocturnal birds as they feed from their parents and venture out of their tree trunk to learn to fly.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Stellaluna

by Janell Cannon

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals

"The baby fruit bat Stellaluna becomes separated from her mother and ends up among a family of birds. With nowhere to go and no way to get food, Stellaluna quickly adapts to the birds' way of life, eating bugs, sleeping in a nest, and never ever hanging by her feet. One day, while hanging by her arms, Stellaluna is discovered by her lost family of bats. After being reunited with Mother Bat, she learns bat behavior, and enthusiastically tries to share things such as eating mangoes and flying at night with her bird friends. Exquisite pencil and acrylic illustrations portray the creatures in a realistic, yet playful manner. Eventually, the birds and the bats learn, as all good friends must, that relationships are based on appreciating one another's differences." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"Stellaluna is endearing and will go a long way to dispel misperceptions about bats." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1995) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog

by John Muir (retold by Donnell Rubay)

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

This classic, true story, as retold by Donnell Rubay, of the renown environmentalist and explorer John Muir and the dog Stickeen portrays the adventures of their crossing of the Taylor Glacier in Alaska during a snowstorm of 1880. Illustrated with dramatic, full-color paintings, showing close-ups and panoramic views of the two adventurers, the story recounts the intimate bond that grew out of the ordeals they faced together in crossing the crevasses of the great mountain of ice. Narrated in first person, Muir's observations of Stickeen, his descriptions of their travels, hopes and fears create an engrossing, imaginative journey for children.

        Grades: Preschool to 7th

  Stranger in the Woods

by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

This "photographic fantasy" is an enchanting journey into a winter wonderland of a snow-covered forest where animals discover a stranger, a carrot-nosed snowman, created for them by two young, curious onlookers. The full-page color photographs, including numerous close-ups, provide a wealth of beautiful imagery, capturing the woodland inhabitants -- bluejays, owls, mourning doves, muskrats, squirrels, porcupine, rabbits, chickadees, mice, cardinals and deer -- as they investigate and "discuss" amongst themselves the presence of the mysterious snow creature. A "Recipe for a Snowman" that includes birdseed, corn and a carrot to provide food for wildlife is included.

      Grades: Kindergarten & Up

  Swan Song: Poems of Extinction

by J. Patrick Lewis

HARDCOVER
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Through poetry Lewis pays homage to 22 species that have gone extinct due to human intervention over the last 400 years. These tributes are complemented by black and white wood engravings and endnotes that further elucidate the causes of the species’ extinction.

The animals cited in these "few small epitaphs in verse to mark their passing" include: Aurochs, Dodo, Chatham Island Swan, Elephant Bird, Steller’s Sea Cow, Blue Buck, Rodriguez Greater Saddleback Tortoise, Painted Vulture, Great Auk, Eastern Elk or Wapiti, Quagga, Laughing Owl, Arizona Jaguar, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, Barbary Lion, Badlands (Audubon’s) Bighorn Sheep, Tasmanian Pouched Wolf, Hawaiian O-O, Bali Tiger, Deepwater Cisco, Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus Monkey.

To learn more about biodiversity visit:
Conservation International
The Convention on Biological Diversity

To learn more about endangered species visit:
Defenders of Wildlife's Kids' Planet
World Wildlife Fund’s Endangered Species

See also: Sandra and William Markle's Gone Forever!,
Margaret Facklam's And Then There Was One,
Alexandra Wright's Will We Miss Them? Endangered Species,
David McLimans' Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet
David Dobson's Can We Save Them?
Steve Jenkins' Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals
Melvin and Gilda Berger's Where Have All the Pandas Gone?


      Grades: 5th to 8th

  Swift as the Wind: The Cheetah

by Barbara Juster Esbensen

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Swift as the Wind offers children a glimpse of life on the African savannah and the family life of the cheetah and some reasons it is endangered today. . . . This beautifully illustrated book presents facts in a straight-forward way that children can understand. It describes the relationship between predator and prey and stresses the role of each in the survival of the species. The author offers her readers a role in the preservation of habitat and species on the African savannah. She explains how scientists can help 'these unique and spectacular animals outrun the shadows of extinction that may be closing in on them'." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1998) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 4th

  Tales Alive! Bird Tales From Near & Far

by Susan Milord

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Birds are the inspiration for the six folktales from around the world, retold by Milford. Each tale is accompanied by story-related activities for children to imaginatively explore bird behavior and characteristics such as beaks, bones and feathers as well as different cultures, arts, crafts, cooking, math and history. Children can construct shadow puppets or a nesting box, explore how birds navigate the skies, compose haiku poems and create origami paper cranes. The six tales include: "Why Owl Hides during the Day" (Iroquois, about the great horned owl), "Mark My Words" (Thailand, about a lorikeet), "The Palace of Beaks" (Yemen, about a hoopoe), "The Farmer and the Tsar of the Crows" (Ukraine), "The Messenger Bird" (Ethiopia) and "The Gratitude of the Crane" (Japan).

To learn more about birds, visit: Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  3 Pandas Planting

by Megan Halsey

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

This picture book not only serves as a counting book from twelve to one but also provides an engaging tool for teaching young children about saving our planet. Brightly colored double-page spreads of a variety of animals, which have been endangered or threatened -- crocodiles, otters, turtles, condors, chimps, bears, leopards rhinos, pandas, whales, tigers and elephants -- are accompanied by a simple description of the activity in which the group of animals is engaged. Twelve crocodiles carpool, nine turtles take home cans from a beach, six bears recycle newspapers, three pandas plant trees and one elephant enjoys a walk in nature. The simple descriptive sentence accompanying each double-page illustration can serve as a basis for discussions of the images while a detailed description of the activity of each group of animals is provided in "Do You Want to Know More?" following the text.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Time to Sleep

by Denise Fleming

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

As the smells, sights and sounds signal the coming of winter, a bear, skunk, snail, turtle, woodchuck and ladybug let each other know to prepare for the time to sleep. This is an engrossing, colorful book for young readers about the changing of seasons and the hibernation of animals, vividly pictured by handmade paper illustrations created by the author.

See also:
Henrietta Bancroft's Animals in Winter

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Tree of Life

by Rochelle Strauss

HARDCOVER
The Living Earth
Animals  : Various Classes

Tree of Life is an informative, scientific overview of the incredible diversity and interrelationship of life on Earth. The branches of the five Kingdoms of classification of life are each described on two-page spreads that also include captioned images on leaves of the tree, each leaf a symbol of the members of the respective Kingdom. The Animal Kingdom is examined in more detail, branching further into the Vertebrate classification of fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. The text then focuses on one specific leaf of the Tree of Life -- the leaf of humans -- showing the relationship to, as well as the tremendous impact of our species on, the Tree of Life Strauss concludes with information for becoming guardians of the Tree of Life, by learning "to live our lives within the Tree – as 1 leaf among 1,750,000". The afterword to parents and teachers adds depth to the scientific concepts and provides suggestions on fostering a biodiversity ethic with children.

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Turtle Tide

by Stephen R. Swinburne

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Reptiles

Turtle Tide brings readers into the fascinating world of the endangered sea turtle, an ancient reptile that has survived since the times of the dinosaurs. The narrative opens in the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean where a loggerhead sea turtle is swimming to the beach where many years ago she was born. She crawls ashore, carefully lays her eggs, and then returns to the sea. The narrative continues following the fate of the one hundred eggs the mother turtle covered with sand in a dune, as some hatch, emerge from the hole and scuttle across the open beach to their ocean home, whereas most fall prey to hungry raccoons, ghost crabs, birds and fish. Weaving lyrical prose with factual information, Swinburne’s narrative is complemented by dramatic watercolor illustrations, many showing close-ups vividly depicting the world of the endangered sea turtle and the struggle for survival of the young hatchlings.

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  Urban Roosts

by Barbara Bash

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Birds

"This book teaches children about our resilient city birds who go about their lives often unnoticed by the humans rushing around nearby. Urban Roosts explores the world of sparrows and finches, barn owls and snowy owls, swallows and swifts, nighthawks and killdeers, pigeons and wrens, crows, starlings, and even peregrine falcons, showing close-up (binocular-like) views as well as panoramic vistas. . . . Urban Roosts explains how human activity has destroyed many natural habitats, but it also makes the point that the birds 'that have been able to adapt are thriving in the midst of the city.' " Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (March/April 1993) published by CCEL.

See also:
Robert Bateman's Backyard Birds,
Carol Lerner's Backyard Birds of Winter and Backyard Birds of Summer

        Grades: 4th to 7th

  Waiting for the Whales

by Sheryl McFarlane

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

"This book subtly shows one family's journey through the cycles of nature and the cycles of life. Grandfather gardens in summer, walks in the woods in autumn, and observes the eagles, herons, and seals all year long. But each year, the most remarkable thing is the migration of the orcas, who come one summer evening on their way up the coast. When grandfather dies, the granddaughter continues the tradition of waiting for the whales, knowing that her grandfather's spirit is likely roaming the seas with the orcas that he loved so dearly. Soft, evocative illustrations sensitively follow the story through each season." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Waiting for Wings

by Lois Ehlert

HARDCOVER
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Flora  : Gardening

The beautiful imagery and design of this picture book will enrapture readers of all ages as they follow the life cycle of a butterfly. The metamorphosis of the butterflies begins on small, partial pages where eggs lie hidden on leaves amidst the full spread pages of colorful foliage. Gradually, as the transitions of the stages of the life cycle unfold, the butterflies spread out and travel through the full-page, colorful floral imagery. Information about the anatomy and characteristics of butterflies, butterfly attracting flowers as well as instructions for growing a butterfly garden are also included at the end of the book.

See also:
Melissa Stewart's A Place for Butterflies

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Weird Friends

by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

Weird Friends portrays unlikely allies of the animal kingdom, different species that coexist in symbiotic relationships. The fascinating behavior of these unusual companions is depicted in a humorous context with colorful cartoon-like illustrations, showing how rather than hurting each other, animals actually help each other in surprising ways – by sharing food or a home, warning of approaching predators, clustering for protection or grooming each other.

The fourteen sets of animal companions that depend on each other for survival and protection through symbiotic relationships include: clown fish and sea anemone; rhino and cattle egret; blind shrimp and goby; ostrich and zebra; red phalarope birds and sperm whale; red ants and large blue butterfly; hermit crab and sea anemones; impalas and baboons; horse mackerel and Portuguese man-of-war; forest mouse and beetles; hippo, oxpeckers and black labeo fish; wrasse and google-eye fish; tuatara reptile and sooty shearwater bird; water thick-knee bird and crocodile.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Whale Rescue

by Erich Hoyt

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Whale Rescue explores the plight of many species of whales around the world that over nine centuries have been hunted to near extinction and provides an insight into the work of conservationists worldwide dedicated to protecting the remaining whales. The book includes numerous photos of close-ups of whales as well as historical images of commercial whaling. Besides the threats from commercial whaling, the remaining populations of these magnificent animals, some of which were 90% decimated through hunting, now also face declining numbers from pollution, overfishing and entanglements in fishing equipment. Author Erich Hoyt, who is a researcher with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, also offers an insight into the traits and behaviors of different whale species – migrations, songs, social structures and reproduction -- besides describing the efforts of scientists, conservationists and several governments to save these spectacular mammals from an uncertain future.

        Grades: 4th to 8th

  Whales Passing

by Eve Bunting

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

Standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, a young boy and father gaze out to watch a pod of orcas streaming through the waters below and imagine the underwater world of these magnificent creatures. Images of orcas glide across the pages of this beautiful picture book that introduces these fascinating ocean mammals to young readers.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  The Whales' Song

by Dyan Sheldon

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Mammals

"A young child is struck by her grandmother's stories of how whales will sing to an attentive listener. In spite of her great-uncle's beliefs that whales are only good for the products they offer humans, the child offers a gift to the whales. In the middle of the night she does indeed hear them singing to her. The soft and sensitive oil paintings coupled with the text validate a child's sense of imagination and wonder -- whales really can sing if you know how to listen." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"There are many good children's books about whales but Gary Blythe's paintings in Whale's Song are exquisite, ethereal and magical." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (September/October 1994) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  When the Wolves Return

by Ron Hirschi

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Imagine a world where the wolves have returned. This book is a plea to the younger generation to help bring them back. It describes why the wolves disappeared and what the world would look like if their song once again filled the night. Now, because of a change in attitudes, the sound of the wolf is returning to the land." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1999) published by CCEL.

Mangelsen's magnificent photographs complement the text which lucidly, yet poetically places in perspective the role of the wolf in maintaining the delicate balance of nature. Beautiful photographic images of bears, elk, moose, geese, owls, caribou, hares, fox and coyotes -- the hunters and the hunted -- show the creatures that share the wolf's wild habitat. Citing Iroquois and Pacific Northwest Coast Indian legends and attitudes toward their world, the author describes how the Native Americans lived in harmony with the earth, in particular with the wolves.

      Grades: 4th and up

  When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature's Balance in Yellowstone

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Habitats & Ecosystems 

Patent’s concise, informative and engaging text, describing how the reintroduction of wolves restored the balance in the Yellowstone ecosystem, is complemented by historical and recent full-color photography of the wolves and Yellowstone, its majestic geological wonders and native wildlife. Yellowstone was established in 1872 as a national park to preserve its geologic wonders of geysers, canyons, boiling hot pools, and mud pots "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people". To preserve the big game animals, hunters were paid to kill wolves and by 1926 not a single wolf was left in the lower 48 states. With the wolves gone, the elk and coyote populations in Yellowstone flourished. As time passed, however, the elk ate the young shoots and bark of trees that had provided food and nesting sites for songbirds as well as wood for beavers to build lodges and dams which had created ponds used by dragonflies, ducks and moose. Coyotes, now Yellowstone’s top predator, killed elk calves and newborn pronghorn fawns and ate animals that other smaller predators, such as foxes, hawks, owls and badgers, needed to survive. With the disappearance of wolves the balance of the complex ecosystem had been upset. Over time scientists began to realize the important, essential role played by wolves as a keystone species in an ecosystem where wolves had lived along with other animals for thousands of years. After an absence of almost seventy years, in 1995 several packs of wolves captured in Canada were introduced back into Yellowstone. Gradually nature’s balance in Yellowstone has been restored – "Returning the wolf is helping to make Yellowstone whole again. "

See also:
Jean Craighead George's The Wolves Are Back
Stephen Swinburne's Once A Wolf: How Wildlife Biologists Fought to Bring Back the Gray Wolf
Janni Howker's Walk with a Wolf /a>

To learn more about wolves, visit:
NRDC's
Save BioGems
Yellowstone National Park.com
Yellowstone Wolves.org

      Grades: 2nd & up

  Where Butterflies Grow

by Joanne Ryder

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Spineless Creatures

"On the bottom side of a leaf there lies an egg. One day the egg hatches, and the magical life of a butterfly begins. Bright and intricate illustrations draw the reader into the evolution of a butterfly, from hatching egg to caterpillar to cocoon, and finally, a young black swallowtail butterfly." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"Joanne Ryder has become known for her books that allow a child to enter another world and become another creature in another habitat. … At the end of the book, an author's note 'Growing Butterflies in Your Garden' suggests some flowers that you can plant to attract different species of butterflies." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1995) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Where Have All the Pandas Gone?

by Melvin and Gilda Berger

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Children can learn about endangered species throughout the world, explore the reasons why different animals have become endangered, primarily due to habitat loss, overhunting and pollution, and find out about ways people have attempted to save endangered species. Presented in a question and answer format, this informative book, illustrated showing each of the animals in their respective habitats, describes endangered land animals (pandas, mountain gorillas, golden lion tamarins, Indian tigers, rhinoceroses and Arabian oryx), birds that have neared extinction (bald eagles, California condors, brown pelicans, whooping cranes, Everglade snail kites, Seychelles warblers and piping plovers) as well as endangered water animals (whales, manatees, sea otters, sea turtles, alligators and crocodiles). The success story of the comeback of the peregrine falcon from near extinction is examined and several suggestions are offered how readers can help save endangered animals.

      Grades: 2nd to 4th

  Wild Babies

by Margriet Ruurs

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Animals  : Various Classes

This book is a visual feast of stunning, realistic paintings of wildlife -- twelve different young mammals and birds pictured in meadows, forests, mountains, lakes and rivers around the northern wooded areas of the North American continent. Young raccoons searching for berries, goslings snuggling close to a goose, bear cubs in a meadow, close-ups of newborn pups near the adult wolf as well as the young of otters, deer, cougars, mountain goats, foxes, loons, moose and skunks are each pictured in their natural habitats. A descriptive sentence complements a black and white drawing of a young animal opposite the page of a color painting to be explored.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Winter Whale

by Joanne Ryder

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

A boy imagining that he is transformed into a humpback whale explores the underwater home of this magnificent mammal where he comes across a pod of whales as well as other creatures of the ocean. This "first-hand experience" affords young readers a unique perspective of the movements and behavior of whales and their communication through song as well as vivid illustrations of their underwater habitat, inspired by the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. The "Author's Note" provides factual information about the physical characteristics, migratory patterns and behavior of humpback whales.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  With Love

by Jane Goodall

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Animals  : Mammals

Ten stories of chimpanzees in the wild, recounted by Jane Goodall, whose pioneering work on chimpanzee behavior is world renown, present incidents showing the social interactions between chimpanzees as well as Goodall's intimate knowledge of and personal encounters with individual chimps. David Greybeard, Prof and Pax, Mel and Spindle, Gigi and Freud, Gremlin and Gimble, Flo and Flint become more than names to children as they learn of the personalities and personal experiences of these individual chimps in the wild. Based upon Goodall's experiences with chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania over a period of almost forty years, these engrossing, moving and at times amusing stories with ink-and-watercolor illustrations of the individual chimps present the complexity of their emotions, the affectionate bonding, caring and struggles between and beyond family members and the level of understanding and communication shown by these fascinating primates. Goodall supplements the stories with information about the plight of chimpanzees throughout the world as well as organizations including Roots and Shoots which she founded for young people to improve their world.

For more information, visit www.janegoodall.org

        Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  Wolf Island

by Celia Godkin

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Animals  : Mammals

Based upon an actual event that occured in Northern Ontario, Canada, Wolf Island chronicles the changes in the balance of nature that take place when a family of wolves is relocated from an island. The chain reaction that filters down through the levels of the food chain gradually affects all forms of life, both vegetative and animal. Deer, squirrels, owls and mice soon face starvation when the top predators -- the wolves -- are removed from the island. Author and illustrator Celia Godkin’s picture book lucidly depicts the key role of wolves in maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems.

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  The Wolves

by Brian J. Heinz

HARDCOVER
Animals : Mammals
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Dramatically illustrated with ephemeral paintings, this book realistically and powerfully portrays a clan of wolves as they search for food during the cold of winter. Although the wolves track and hunt down an elderly, sick elk, the portrayal is not graphically violent gore, but realistically direct in showing the struggle for survival and in providing a better understanding of pack behavior and the role of the alpha leader, Pahtoo, around whom this text centers. The preface by the author provides a brief historical perspective and explains the threat of extinction faced by these mammals.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  The Wonder of Wolves (The Wonder Series)

by Sandra Chisholm Robinson

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This story and activity book includes the Native American story "The Mask of the Wolf" as well as engrossing activities and games designed for adults and children to explore together the physical attributes, habitats and behavior of wolves -- "Build a Wolf", "Origami Wolf Pack", "Moose Hunt", making a Native American (Nuu-chah-nulth tribe) wolf mask, "Watching Wolves" that includes a listing of zoos where wolves may be seen, and other activities to explore topics such as their endangered status. "New Homes for Wolves" and "Restoration Riddles" present the restoration of wolves into Yellowstone. This informative and captivating book with black-and-white illustrations is published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Wonderful Worms

by Linda Glaser

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Environmental Themes  : Recycling & Composting

Cross-section illustrations of a garden and the underground burrows of worms complement a simple, engrossing text which introduces children to the world of earthworms and their importance in enriching the soil. A facts section at the end of the book provides interesting supplementary information about the life cycle, physical characteristics and behavior of these creatures.

See also:
Wendy Pfeffer's Wiggling Worms at Work
Tim Magner's Earl The Earthworm Digs for His Life

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1998) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Yuck: A Big Book of Little Horrors

by Robert Snedden

HARDCOVER
Animals : Spineless Creatures

An amazing exploration using the microscope investigates the world of common household inhabitants and items. Vivid photographs and an informative text, which reveal the magnified world of dust mites, food, pollen, bacteria and other amazing (sometimes "yucky") creatures and objects found in the home environment, will fascinate young readers.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1998) published by CCEL.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 5th