Topic: Experience of Nature

  1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving

by Catherine O'Neill Grace & Margaret M. Bruchac

HARDCOVER
Multicultural
Experience of Nature 

This fascinating, informative and well-researched photo-essay about Thanksgiving is recounted from the Wampanoag perspective countering the prevailing traditional story of the historical event. Cranberries, potatoes, tall black hats with buckles never were part of the first Thanksgiving. Color photographs of the reenactment of the harvest gathering of 1621 that took place in October 2000 at the Plymouth Plantation, a living history museum of 17th century Plymouth, form the basis of this book to show the life styles and cultures of the Native Americans and the English colonists, and their shared history.

        Grades: 2nd through 6th

  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

  Alejandro's Gift

by Richard E. Albert

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

Having planted a vegetable garden near his isolated desert home, the elderly Alejandro notices the small desert animals who come to drink Water and Ocean Habitats in the furrows. Although the visit of these desert animals fills his loneliness, he thinks of the other larger desert animals. When he painstakingly builds a sheltered Water and Ocean Habitats hole further from his house as a gift to his desert friends, he is rewarded by the sounds of the animals that come to drink at the oasis. Beautifully illustrated with detailed Water and Ocean Habitatscolors of the desert landscape, flora and fauna, this book portrays an inspiring and moving response to one's natural surroundings. A glossary of desert animals complements the story.

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

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  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

  Arctic Lights Arctic Nights

by Debbie S. Miller

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Experience of Nature 

The seasonal changes near the Arctic Circle form the setting for the transitions of the natural world in the unique picture book Arctic Lights Arctic Nights. Beginning with the summer solstice near Fairbanks, Alaska, lyrical text and paintings depict monthly transitions of the natural world in "The Land of the Midnight Sun", evoking the beauty and drama of the dynamics of light and darkness in the North, the extreme variations of temperature as well as the seasonal patterns of migration, hibernation and adaptations of the wildlife – snowshoe hare, moose, ptarmigans, grizzly bears, sandhill cranes, ground squirrels, caribou, wolves, trumpeter swans and ravens. The glossary introduces unique terms to readers of natural phenomena such as alpenglow, blinks, glints, sundogs and diamond dust as well as seasonal concepts of the equinox and solstice.

        Grades: 2nd to 5th

  The Autumn Equinox: Celebrating the Harvest

by Ellen Jackson

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"The Autumn Equinox" takes readers around the world showing how the harvest season has been celebrated by many cultures throughout time to give thanks for the crops that sustain people over the winter. Descriptions of Chinese, Celt, Germanic, English and Pilgrim seasonal festivals as well as the Iroquois Green Corn Dance, the Nigerian Yam Festival, and the Indian Pongal feast depict the harvest celebrations by peoples of the earth, of which certain traditions reappear in our festivities of Thanksgiving and Halloween. An adaptation of a Native American Sauk harvest legend as well as "Classroom Activities" of a number of festivals to make Chinese Moon Cakes, an African Harvest Drum and a Pongal Dessert incorporate the various seasonal festivities into children's contemporary culture.

See also by Ellen Jackson:
The Summer Solstice
The Spring Equinox
The Winter Solstice

        Grades: All

  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

  The Beautiful Christmas Tree

by Charlotte Zolotow

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

This classic book by Zolotow, reissued with contemporary illustrations by Yan Nascimbene, evokes the spirit of the season in reaffirming the goodness of humanity. The patience and caring of the urban dweller who rescues a withering pine, then nurtures it over the years is rewarded over time by the songbirds who come to nest in its branches and the communal feeling of the neighborhood that the presence of the tree instills. This book serves as a reminder of the true spirit of the season.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Berry Smudges and Leaf Prints: Finding and Making Colors from Nature

by Ellen B. Senisi

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Senisi introduces this book as "a celebration of the colors of the natural world and a guide to homemade coloring." Using natural colors made from plants and fruits found in yards, parks, gardens and grocery stores, children can make natural dyes (under adult supervision) for a variety of projects that include creating potato and leaf prints, flower pressing to make bookmarks and sun catchers, nature weaving, tie-dying, collage making, charcoal drawing and eggshell-picture making. Beautiful, color-filled photographs of nature introduce a color and images of children creating their craft complement the different projects. Specific colors are discussed in nature and, besides pointing out its significance in the plant and animal world, the author also mentions a color's traditional symbolism. By using colors derived from nature, Senisi encourages readers to look more closely at and draw inspiration from the world of nature. A brief history of the use of color appends the book as well as a basic introduction to color theory that includes explanations to common questions as "Why is the sky blue?" and "Why are apples red?".

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Between Earth and Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places

by Joseph Bruchac

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Locker's dramatic landscape paintings complement ancient legends of places sacred to Native Americans. An uncle recounts to his nephew ten stories from the Seven Directions -- North, South, East, West, Above, Below and Within -- to evoke the beauty of the places and the wisdom of the teachings. A North American map of the original Native nations and a pronunciation guide of the tribes and regions of the legends are included.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 3rd to 6th

  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

  Birches

by Robert Frost

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

Noted American Robert Frost's poem, Birches -- of birches bent by an icy storm, of an adult's reminiscence of childhood in looking at the branches reaching toward the heavens and of a young boy, a swinger of birches -- is complemented by the exquisite, earth-tone watercolors by Caldecott winner, Ed Young.

        Grades: 2nd & up

  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

  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

  Cactus Poems

by Frank Asch

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

The moving poetry of Frank Asch and the majestic photography of Ted Levin celebrate the landscape and inhabitants of four North American deserts -- the Sonoran, the Mojave, the Great Basin, and the Chihuahuan. Facts and feelings interweave disclosing the humor and secrets of the flora and fauna in the timeless beauty and sun-scorched vistas of the desert setting. Poems such as "Magic Rocks" evokes the mystery of the prehistoric humans who had scratched symbolic petroglyphs into the desert rocks, "Waterless Shores" describes the gathering of life to the desert flower to feed, while other poems each present, sometimes with humor, the animals that inhabit the desert landscape -- the coyote, bobcat, desert tortoise, lizard, Gila monster, cottontail, rattlesnake, leaf-cutter ant, hummingbird and roadrunner. The nineteen desert poems include: "Breaks Free", "Water Secret", "Waterless Shores", "The Oldest", "Bobcat Watching", "Slow and Steady", "Howl", "Lizards in Love", "Magic Rocks", "Shy Monster", "Cottontail", "The Rattler", "Be Careful", "Two Rains", "If I Were an Ant", "Saguaro", "Hummingbird Song", "Roadrunner" and "If the Earth Were Small". Factual information about the subject of each poem is provided at the end of the book.

      Grades: Kindergarten and 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

  Christmas Trees

by Robert Frost

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

Frost's poem subtly reveals the true worth of trees as materialistic rewards are dwarfed in comparison to the natural beauty of the woods. Written in 1916, Frost's Christmas circular letter describes the wisdom of a farmer in his reaction to a city man's offer for his trees. Rand's full-page color paintings illustrate the beauty of the fall New England countryside.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  The Circle of Days

by Reeve Lindbergh

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Based on the hymn "The Canticle of the Sun" by Francis of Assisi which was written in 1225, this book gives praise and thanks for all of creation -- for the sun, stars and moon, for the air, water, earth, wind and fire, for plants and animals, for the desert, mountain, rocks and sea. Lindbergh's rhythmic poem and Felstead's illustrations of watercolor, gouache and collage depicting each element of praise celebrate the beauty and diversity of this world in an environmental and spiritual picture book.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Cloud Dance

by Thomas Locker

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Water & Its Cycle 

The luminous oil paintings and simple, lyrical text of Locker's Cloud Dance evoke the natural beauty of clouds as they "drift and dance across the sky" over rustic landscape settings, changing color, shape and size during different times of the day and seasons. Factual information about the formation and types of clouds is found in the Endnotes.

        Grades: Preschool to 5th

  The Curious Garden

by Peter Brown

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Gardening

During a walk in his neighborhood of a grey, dismal city, a boy discovers an abandoned railway where a few wildflowers and plants are struggling to survive. Liam cares for the plants that gradually spread to new places. Over time new gardeners join the boy in creating lush gardens, transforming the dreary urban landscape into one abounding with life and beauty.

This beautiful picture book was inspired by High Line, an elevated railway in Manhattan that had been abandoned since 1980.

Printed on recycled paper.

See also:
Gordon Morrison's Nature in the Neighborhood
Martin Brennan's I Saw It in the Garden

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Dandelions:  Stars in the Grass

by Mia Posada

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Plants & Flowers

The rhyming verse and soft, lyrical illustrations present the life cycle of a plant -- the notorious and ordinary dandelion. However, the author offers a different perspective to look upon that which people often regard as a "weed" -- a perspective that views beauty in nature as one learns how a tiny seed grows into a flower. The words of the text flow through the pages of beautiful full-spread paintings like seeds moved by the wind. A recipe for a dandelion salad is also included.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  The Desert Is Theirs

by Byrd Baylor

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

"Desert people have a special relationship with the land -- one that is respectful and resourceful, based on patience, perseverance, and celebration. This lyrical collaboration between Baylor and Parnall brings the desert, its plants, animals, and people, to life. It demonstrates how people are shaped by the places they inhabit, and how a reciprocal relationship with the land grounds both mind and body in the surrounding natural features." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

A Caldecott Honor Book.

        Grades: 1st to 5th

  Did You Hear Wind Sing Your Name?

by Sandra De Coteau Orie

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Stunning full-page illustrations capture the lyricism of the Oneida song celebrating the rebirth of spring, the cycle of day and night, and the beauty of flora and fauna experienced through the senses -- through the sweet scent of cedar, through the warmth of the morning sun, through the taste of the rain and the first meadow strawberries, and through the sight of the colorful blossoming of flowers, the movements in air and on land of the animals, the growth in the fields of corn, beans and squash, and the greening in the woods of the Aspen Saplings among the White Birches and Darkwoods.

      Grades: Preschool & up

  Disappearing Lake : Nature's Magic in Denali National Park

by Debbie S. Miller

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

The beauty of the cyclic change of a vernal lake in Alaska, Disappearing Lake, provides the poetic setting for the change of the seasons, animals and vegetation of this unique ecosystem throughout one year. The melting snows of winter flood a meadow and life awakens in and around the lake with birds, insects, plants, hatching shrimp, beavers, moose and wolves. As the days grow warmer and the lake begins to disappear, plants that sprout from the moist soil to feed the migrating caribou later grow into a meadow to harbor and nourish other life forms. With the ending of fall, as the Northern Lights appear the meadow lies beneath the snows of winter.

The text along with the "Field Notes" about the ecosystem broaden the knowledge of natural life cycles for young readers. Colorful illustrations by Jon Van Zyle portraying the magnificent natural landscape with its inhabitants complement the descriptions of the continuous transformations around the vernal lake.

        Grades: 1st to 5th

  Discover the Seasons

by Diane Iverson

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Field Guide & Activity Books 

Each of the seasons is presented thematically -- the spring as a celebration of renewal and activity, the summer as a time for exploration and learning, the fall as a season of preparation and work, and the winter as a period of rest for some animals, while, for others, a time of searching for food. Poetry and full-page color illustrations depict three different scenes of animals during a season and a brief paragraph about the animals pictured follows each poem. For each season there are both indoor and outdoor activities presented to explore and conserve nature, as well as a page of seasonal recipes, using fruits and vegetables that require little or no cooking. The author encourages adults to share with children in the activities of each seasonal "Things To Do" and has marked activities where adult supervision is required. The "Resources" section at the end of the book includes a listing of books and gardening supplies sources.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 5th

  Down to Earth: Garden Secrets! Garden Stories! Garden Projects You Can Do!

by Michael J. Rosen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Gardening

Rosen compiled this anthology of 41 children's book authors and illustrators into an engrossing collection of stories, projects, activities and recipes -- all related to gardening. Dozens of stories let readers experience a touching personal remembrance or amusing anecdote about a particular plant. When a childhood dream is finally realized through his own orchard, Erich Hoyt also learns to share apples with local bears; Maryjo Koch reminisces about the beauty of the foxglove that also serves an important medicinal purpose for a loved one; Nicholasa Mohr discovers the flaming red trees on her first visit to her parent's cherished island of Borinquen in Puerto Rico; Kathyrn Lasky shares her love of moss that grows on walls to create beautiful patterns. The thirty-three adventures in "Let's Get Growing: Activities" include recipes for cheesy zucchini, apple crumble and roasted squash seeds; instructions for planting a spring rainbow, growing a pole-bean teepee, drying/pressing flowers, creating potato prints and fern prints as well as bottle gardens and windowsill lawns.

Contributors to this anthology include: Kathi Appelt, Keith Baker, Karen Barbour, Eve Bunting, Amy Butler, David Butler, David Catrow, Lynne Cherry, Malka Drucker, Lois Ehlert, Mark English, Denise Fleming, Vivienne Flesher, Julia Gorton, Donald Hall, Florence Parry Heide, Will Hillenbrand, Ron Hirschi, Erich Hoyt, Angela Johnson, Carole King, Daniel Kirk, Maryjo Koch, Maxine Kumin, Kathryn Lasky, Adam McCauley, Michael McCurdy, Nicholesa Mohr, Diana Pomeroy, Gloria Rand, Jane Ray, Mary Lyn Ray, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Michael Rosen, Reynold Ruffins, Greg Shed, Judy Sierra, David Updike, Nicki Weiss, Vera B. Williams, Christopher Wormell and Dan Yaccarino. Contributors donated their work so that proceeds support Share Our Strength, an antihunger organization.

      Grades: 5th & up

  A Drop Around the World

by Barbara Shaw McKinney

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Water & Its Cycle 

Over mountains, deserts, rain forests and towns, traveling through landscapes, seas and rivers, into animals and plants, swirling through freezing Arctic air, passing underground through subterranean streams and wells, and rising up amongst clouds and rainbows, a drop of water flows endlessly over the globe, changing state from vapor, rain, fog, mist, snow and ice. Presented in rhyming verse with brilliantly colorful, oversized, full-page illustrations, the journey of "Drop" begins and ends off the New England coast, weaving through numerous settings around the planet in its travels, as it engagingly introduces readers to the wonders and importance of the water cycle. Endnotes supplement factual material about the physical properties of water and its cycle. (A teacher’s guide is also published for lesson plans on the water cycle to accompany the book -- ISBN: 1883220777.)

        Grades: 1st to 6th

  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

  The Earth and I

by Frank Asch

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

"This pleasant book with its cheerful illustrations recounts the reciprocal friendship between a child and the earth. They talk and sing to each other, take long walks together, and help each other grow. When the earth is sad, the child is sad, but when the earth is happy, so is the child. Showing how the earth is both playground and companion, this book introduces the earth as every child's friend." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"The Earth and I is a perfect first book for young children for it describes the relationship between a child and the earth in simple text." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (September/October 1995) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Earth Day Birthday

by Pattie Schnetzler

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes 

Based upon the verse and music of "Twelve Days of Christmas," Earth Day Birthday, a stunning picture book for young children, celebrates animals, the environment and Earth Day. Twelve types of North American animals – a bald eagle, grizzly bears, panthers, salmon, fawns, owls, whales, cranes, turtles, bison, seals and wolves – are vividly portrayed in close-up, realistic paintings within their scenic natural habitats, each species on large double-page spreads. A scene portraying a family cleaning up the litter of their picnic, set in a panoramic landscape with an eagle soaring overhead, ties in with the ending of the verse that on Earth Day, "as every day should be, we care for creatures as our family". Music and lyrics are included at the end of the book along with the background to Earth Day as well as brief suggestions for activities to celebrate the holiday.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  ECOlogical 2011 Calendar

by Chris Hardman/ANTENNA

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

Chris Hardman's ECOlogical 2011 Calendar offers an alternative perspective to the Gregorian calendar by providing a lyrical experience of the Earth’s natural cycles and the continuum of seasons. Each of four panels, beautifully illustrated in full-color with seasonal imagery, begins with either the equinox or solstice, flowing through evocative names of days and months. The seasonal descriptions include identification of the constellations, brightest stars, meteor showers, moon phases, tide variations as well as meteorological phenomena and ecological information as to how plants and animals adapt to the changing season. The cycles and rhythms of nature, the ebb and flow of tides, the death and reawakening of life – all are beautifully evoked in words and imagery that highlight the continuum of time and the world around us.

Printed with soy-based inks on recycled paper.

Created by ANTENNA

      Grades: All Ages

  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

  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

  The First Thanksgiving

by Jean Craighead George

PAPERBACK
Multicultural
Experience of Nature 

Tracing the history back to the time of the glaciers when Plymouth Rock was first deposited at Cape Cod, George explores the roots of the tradition of Thanksgiving. The author takes readers back to the times of the first Indian settlers, the Pawtuckets, and the devastating effect of disease upon the Native Americans brought later from Europe. We learn of the capture of Squanto by the English traders and his travels in the Atlantic as well as the religious persecution of the Pilgrims and their voyage on the Mayflower to America. Through his knowledge of English, Squanto establishes a relationship between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who teach the new settlers to survive and adapt to their new home. The Green Corn Dance of the Native Americans and the Harvest Feast of the Pilgrims come together in the mutual celebration of the two peoples that form the basis of today's Thanksgiving feast in a book richly illustrated by the oil paintings of Thomas Locker.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Flower Garden

by Eve Bunting

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Gardening

"The possibility of a garden for apartment dwellers becomes a reality in this beautifully illustrated book. This little city garden, intended as a birthday gift for mom, becomes a gift for all those who have the great fortune to view it. The window box filled with a rainbow of blossoms contrasts with the surrounding urban canvas and becomes home to butterflies and ladybugs. The illustrations are beautiful as well as botanically accurate and the placid prose accents the aura of this miracle on West 76th St." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (September/October 1995) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Forest Adventures with Bruni the Bear

by Reese Halter

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

While searching for honey in the forest, Bruni the Bear encounters some of his friends, a bird, a moose, a beaver, a squirrel and a honeybee, who explain to him what they know about trees. Written by conservation biologist Reese Halter, this colorful illustrated book introduces young children to: basic types of trees; trunks, roots and bark; how trees make food and oxygen; and, the role of conifer cones and broadleaf flowers. The story context creates a fun-filled journey of exploration of trees and forests for young kids.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Forest Child

by Marni McGee

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

Beautiful detailed color paintings by Banfill create a mysterious woodland setting into which a child has wandered. Having freed a rabbit from a hunting trap, the boy finds that the animals that were warily cautious of his presence now protect and tend to him. This imaginative tale will entrance young readers and provide a visual feast to be explored of the woodland setting and the animal inhabitants.

        Grades: Pre-School to 2nd

  Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth

by Lee Welles

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth, winner of the 2006 National Outdoor Book Award, is the first fantasy novel of a seven-book series that will follow the adventures of four girls in different regions of the world who take on supernatural powers to help heal the Earth. Author Lee Welles was inspired by British scientist James Lovelock’s Gaia theory to create a novel depicting the Earth as a living superorganism. Gaia, the living organism of the Earth, is personified by an otter who approaches Elizabeth Angier, a ten-year old girl living on her organic family farm, to take on the threat of the takeover of her rural community by an industrialized hog farm. Elizabeth is endowed with "the power over soil, rock and mountain top" and is able to communicate with trees and respond to life forms in the soil as she takes on the struggle to protect her sustainable farm and community. Readers, both young and old, will be enthralled to read about the adventures of this heroine and can look forward to following the stories of the other three girls as they take on their elemental powers of water, air or fire to stop destructive practices, help humanity and heal the planet.

In keeping with the environmental principles of the theme, the book was printed by Daisyworld Press on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Each chapter begins with a beautiful, realistic black-and-white drawing by Ann Hameister of the local flora and fauna of Upstate New York, the setting of the earth novel. The illustrations also contain hidden codes to solve puzzles.

See also: The second book of the series Gaia Girls: Way of Water.

For information about the Gaia Girls book series, visit http://www.gaiagirls.com

        Grades: 3rd & up

  The Gift of the Tree

by Alvin Tresselt

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

"A story about the decomposition of a tree and the new life that springs forth from its remains. Captivating paintings draw the reader into the cycle of life in the natural world, illustrating how 'what comes around goes around' in nature too." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Giving Thanks

by Jonathan London

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

During a walk in a woodland, a father explains to his son how he believes that the things of nature are a gift. In return we should give something back by giving thanks. As they explore the landscape, the father gives thanks to the earth and sky, the fox and deer, the frogs and crickets, the quail, rabbits and hawks, the mushrooms and trees, and Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon. At the end of the hike as the boy looks up to the moonlit sky he gives thanks to the stars. The text and beautiful oil paintings of this picture book celebrate the beauty of the natural world for which the boy and father show their gratitude.

See also: Chief Jake Swamp's Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message


        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

by Chief Jake Swamp

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"This book is strong and simple. The text is the traditional Iroquois prayer of Thanksgiving. . . . Part of the living tradition of Native Americans today, it gives thanks for the food we eat, the beauty in the world and everything that sustains us and gives us pleasure. The illustrations by Erwin Printup, a member of the Cayaga tribe of upstate New York, are clean edged, colorful and full of symbolic strength." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

See also: Jonathan London's, Giving Thanks

        Grades: Preschool & Up

  Grand Canyon: A Trail Through Time

by Linda Vieira

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

A visual and lyrical day's journey down a trail of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River juxtaposes the geological history, the fossils and remains of the Native American local inhabitants with the contemporary plant life, animals and travelers.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Grandfather's Christmas Tree

by Keith Strand

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

The exquisite paintings of Thomas Locker complement the evocative and moving tale retold by an old grandson of his parents' experiences in 1886 during a harsh winter in Colorado that created a family tradition of placing a carving of a pair of geese and goslings in a spruce tree. The book instills a respect for nature -- the strength of the elements of nature and the caring of people for other living beings. It evokes the spirit of giving, the hope of humanity and the majestic beauty of the season.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  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

  The Happiness Tree

by Andrea Alban Gosline

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

"Everything good begins with me, " starts the verse by the acorn to the mother oak tree. The Happiness Tree celebrates the beauty and simple gifts of trees assigning attributes such as hope, courage, love and compassion to ten different North American trees. Complemented by lyrical text and imagery, this is an imaginative and inspirational book to protect and care for one of Earth’s most precious resources and to value the natural world. After the end of the verse, each of the ten species of trees is identified by its attribute and described with interesting, factual information. An index of the fifty state trees is also included as well as a note to "Plant a Happiness Tree on Arbor Day".

The attributes and trees in this book are:
Hope – White Oak
Love – Yellow Poplar
Courage – White Pine
Gratitude – Sugar Maple
Peace – Flowering Dogwood
Compassion – American Elm
Tolerance – Blue Spruce
Generosity – Southern Magnolia
Honesty – Paper Birch
Happiness – Redwood

Printed on Recycled Paper (50% post-consumer waste) -- to save trees.

For more information about Arbor Day, visit:
National Arbor Day Foundation.

See also:
Patricia Lauber's, Be a Friend to Trees
Diane Iverson's, My Favorite Tree
Dana Lyon's, The Tree
Alvin Tresselt's, The Gift of the Tree

      Grades: All

  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

  Henry David's House

by Thoreau; edited by Steven Schnur

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

An inspiring selection of excerpts from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden enhanced by full-page impressionistic paintings together create the world of Thoreau during his stay at Walden Pond and depict the beauty of the natural setting at the pond. Thoreau’s own words – descriptions of the building of the cabin, the sparse selection of furnishings in his abode, his observations of nature in the rustic surroundings as the seasons cycle throughout a year -- highlight his belief in the inherent value of living life simply in harmony with nature. The "Editor’s Note" following the text provides supplementary information about Thoreau’s writing of Walden and the extent of the influence of his ideas.

        Grades: 3rd & up

  Henry Works

by D.B. Johnson

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

Henry Works is the fourth children’s picture book by DB Johnson inspired by the life and writings of Henry David Thoreau that centers on the adventures of Henry the bear, modeled after Thoreau and the writings in Walden. In the morning mist Henry sets out from his cabin "walking to work" and en route to his destination as he passes through woods, fields and the town of Concord, he tends to nature and helps out his friends – delivering a letter to his friend Emerson, planting strawberries in Hawthorne's garden, watering wildflowers, marking paths, placing crossing stones in a stream and relocating pesky woodchucks. By the end of the day he has reached his destination -- back at his cabin where he begins his work of writing Walden.

The four books by author and artist Johnson are each based upon a passage of Thoreau’s writing which the author includes at the end of each book along with relevant biographical information about Thoreau. The exquisite artwork of colored pencil and paint comprised of geometric shapes and skewed perspectives picture the amusing adventures of Henry the bear, dressed in a farm hat and overcoat. The first of the books, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (ISBN: 0395968674) contrasts two different methods of traveling to exemplify contrasting approaches to life. The veneration of the simple lifestyle is also portrayed in Johnson’s third book, Henry Builds a Cabin (ISBN: 0618132015) which depicts the frugality and simplicity of Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond. Thoreau’s philosophy of civil disobedience and his opposition to slavery are introduced in Henry Climbs a Mountain (ISBN: 0618269029). All four of Johnson’s books provide an engrossing introduction for young readers into the life and ideas of one of America’s greatest 19th century figures.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Here is the Coral Reef

by Madeleine Dunphy

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

Narrating in a cumulative, rhythmic format, Dunphy presents the interdependence and diversity of animals and plants of the coral reef. Focusing on the creatures of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, this vivid seascape abounds with life and activity in a coral reef where an eel finds shelter from a black-tipped reef shark which carries remoras that rode on a manta ray along with a hawksbill turtle that fed on sponges near a clownfish hiding in anemone near parrotfish feeding on coral. Leonard's vivid, double-spread paintings complement the text to capture the rich diversity and interrelatedness of life as well as the unique ecosystem of the coral reef.

See also:
Sylvia Earle's Hello Fish!: Visiting the Coral Reef , and Jump into Science: Coral Reefs

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Hiawatha's Childhood

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"After Hiawatha learns legends of the magical cosmos from his caretaker Nokomis, he is compelled to befriend the plants and animals of his local environment. This enchanting story depicts a child's fascination with the natural world and sense of kinship with other creatures. Errol Le Cain's intricate illustrations are a delightful companion to this timeless classic." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Kindergarten & Up

  High as a Hawk

by T.A. Barron

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

In 1905 eight-year old Harriet Peters became the youngest person to climb to the 14,000-foot summit of Longs Peak in Colorado. Accompanying her as the trail guide was Enos Mills, whose efforts led to the creation of the Rocky Mountain National Park ten years later. Inspired by the historic ascent of these two figures, T.A. Barron has created a moving, lyrical account of this ascent, narrated from the first-person perspective of the girl, that portrays both her determination and courage in the face of the challenges faced by the climbers as they braved the elements and traversed the steep slopes. Reaching the summit was not only a physical struggle, but an inner challenge to finally realize the dream of her mother whom she had recently lost. The beauty of the poetic prose is reflected in the exquisite realism of the paintings by Ted Lewin portraying the landscape, natural elements of the mountain and the animals that they discover during this historic ascent. The author’s endnote recounts the inspiration to his writing of the book and includes the historical context of the characters.

T.A. Barron has authored award-winning novels read by children and adults, including The Ancient One, the international bestselling series The Lost Years of Merlin, and his new trilogy, The Great Tree of Avalon.

      Grades: Preschool to 4th

  Home

by Jeannie Baker

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

In this wordless visual story of Jeannie Baker's exquisite collages, over the course of time as a child grows to a young adult, the view from her window also changes as people gradually reclaim their neighborhood. From a bleak urban setting filled with graffiti, billboards, decrepit buildings and fences, the view evolves into a beautiful, living city landscape filled with people, local native plants and animals. Australian artist Baker remarks in her endnote "But the choice is ours to make – having simply a place to live or, by understanding the land and caring for it, belonging to a living home."

See also: Jeannie Baker's Window, another wordless picture book of the artist's collages, which follows the scene through a boy's window as a natural landscape is replaced by urban development.

      Grades: Kindergarten & Up

  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

  Home: A Journey Through America

by Thomas Locker

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

Celebrating the range of American landscapes through the majestic oil paintings of Thomas Locker and the verses of 12 writers, this picture book presents the beauty of America in both imagery, and, prose and poetry. Having selected writings and commissioned poems that uniquely present a landscape where writers make their homes, Locker drew inspiration from their writings to create his complementary artwork.

Prose and poetry of thirteen authors include: From Once by the Pacific by Robert Frost (California Coast), Climb the Mountains by John Muir (Yosemite), Gold by Pat Mora (Southwest Desert), From My Antonia by Willa Cather (Midwest prairie), Fog by Carl Sandburg (Midwest), The River by Jane Yolen, (Connecticut River, Massachusetts), Children of the Sky by Joseph Bruchac (Comanche Indian region of Texas), Tree by Eloise Greenfield (North Carolina), My Childhood's Home by Abraham Lincoln (Indiana), Song of a People by Merle Good (Amish community, Pennsylvania), Birches in the Fall by Thomas Locker (Hudson River Valley), From Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving (Hudson River Valley), and, From the Journal by Henry David Thoreau (Walden Pond).

        Grades: 1st & up

  I See a Kookaburra

by Robin Page & Steve Jenkins

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Experience of Nature 

I See a Kookaburra is a beautiful, intriguing and fun-filled book of exploration and discovery of six different habitats found throughout the world. In each habitat depicted by Jenkins’ vibrant and colorful textured cut-paper collages, readers can search for eight animals hidden amongst the local flora, sometimes spotting only wings, noses, tails, legs, trunks, bills or eyes. Each following double-page spread identifies and briefly describes a full-image depiction of the animal in the same location of the page, without the flora.

The habitats explored in this picture book include: the American Southwest desert, a tide pool on the southern coast of England, the rain forest in the Amazon River basin, a savanna or grassland in central Africa, a forest in eastern Australia and a pond in the American Midwest. A more extensive description of each biome as well as how the indigenous animals grow and thrive by adapting in unexpected ways to their unique environment is appended for advanced readers and educators.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 4th

  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: 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

  Jack's Garden

by Henry Cole

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Gardening

Detailed, colored pencil drawings by the author bring children into the world of gardening through the evolving narrative of "Jack's Garden". Beginning with an image of Jack standing shovel in hand in an empty dirt plot, "This is the garden that Jack planted", the text and imagery carry children through the gradual transformations of his garden, through the sprouting of seeds, the growth of the plants and the formation of buds as well as into the bustling activity of birds and insects when the garden blooms. The last scene showing Jack in the midst of his flowering garden cycles back to the beginning of the book -- "This is the garden that Jack planted". Labeled drawings in the margins of the double-spread illustrations add detailed information to each scene with imagery of various tools, plants and seeds, insects, birds and their eggs.

See also:
Lynne Cherry's How Groundhog's Garden Grew

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  John Muir: My Life with Nature

by Joseph Cornell

PAPERBACK
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

In his introduction to this unique "autobiography" of John Muir, Joseph Cornell writes: "To stay true to the spirit of Muir as clearly and fully as possible, I have told his story as if he were alive, using his own words and colorful expressions as often as possible." Although Cornell simplified some words to make this introductory biography more accessible to young readers, the selection of Muir’s quotes, complemented by black and white photos and illustrations, convey the enthusiastic spirit, adventures and ideas of this renown preservationist that can be also appreciated by adults. Cornell, a leading nature educator who is author of Sharing Nature with Children, also includes a selection of thoughtful and engaging activities for children to experience life and the natural world, inspired by Muir’s perspective.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  The Last Polar Bears

by Harry Horse

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Global Warming

Through a series of extra-ordinary letters to the grandchild, Grandfather narrates his expedition to the North Pole in search of the last polar bears. Having seen a polar bear in a zoo without any icebergs to float upon, but unable to smuggle it out under his coat, he decides to see the bears in their natural habitat. Equipped with his bag of golf clubs, Grandfather and his talking dog, Roo, set out to the North Pole across sea and land and in their hilarious adventures encounter rambunctious wolves, rabbits, sheep (according to Roo), frozen seagulls, walrus, playful penguins (in the Arctic) and an eccentric snow poet/sculptor. The ice caps are melting and Grandfather is determined to find the last polar bears in this amusing, yet poignant, story.

        Grades: 4th & up

  Leaf Man

by Lois Ehlert

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

Dazzling, colorful, autumnal leaves whirl across shaped pages as the leaf man travels wherever the wind blows. At every turn of a page beautiful cut leaf collages form into images of animals and plants that the leaf man comes across as he drifts over farms and marshes, past orchards and prairie meadows, and over lakes, rivers and mountains through a lyrical celebration of the beauty of autumn.

See also: Lois Ehlert's Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, a picture book about the life cycle of a sugar maple tree.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  The Little Island

by Golden MacDonald

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

"A little island in the great blue sea is both 'a part of the world and a world of its own'. This story observes the activity on the island during each of the seasons: the things that come and go, namely animals and human visitors, and the things that stay, like seven big trees, seventeen small bushes, and one big rock. The illustrations chronicle the changes and growth that occur throughout this subtle ecological lesson." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

A Caldecott Medal winner (1947).

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Lulie the Iceberg

by Takamado No Miya Hisako

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

The voyage of Lulie the Iceberg as it breaks off of the Greenland Ice Sheet and travels to the South Pole provides the setting for many fascinating encounters and discoveries. This surreal adventure will take children through a journey witnessing the changing of species from the northern polar regions to the tropics and into the southern polar regions, through the "joy of discovering friendships and the breathtaking beauty of the planet we live on". The "Glossary" supplements information about the Earth's polar regions and the various species illustrated and mentioned in the text.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Maple Moon

by Connie Brummel Crook

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Connie Cook borrowed elements from Native American folk tales to create an enchanting story about the discovery of maple syrup by a Native American boy and the tradition of the weeks of the sap run, the Maple Moon. A young Missisauga boy, mockingly called "Limping Leg" by some children because of his injured limb, wanders off to be alone in the woods. There he observes a squirrel drinking the "sweet water" of a maple tree. Patiently, the boy learns to obtain sap from the maple. In showing his elders his discovery of the "sweet water", he saves his people from starvation and earns their respect.

See also: Lois Ehlert's Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, a picture book about the life cycle of a sugar maple tree.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Matthew's Meadow

by Corinne Demas Bliss

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

"Matthew becomes sensitized to the wonder and wisdom of nature during repeated trips to the meadow where he befriends a certain hawk. Invoking all five of his senses, he listens to milkweed seeds floating in the air, feels the moonbeams touching his skin, sees the erosion of a mountain, smells the coming of the night, and tastes the blackberries that hang enticingly on the vine. This story becomes an adventure of the senses through Ted Lewin's evocative, magically detailed paintings, encouraging attentiveness to all natural creatures and features." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

"This is a book of deep wisdom and spirit. It speaks to adults about the process of growing up and staying connected to one's self and the land. It is a book to share with teenagers as well because it tells the story of a boy turning into a man. Even though the book deals with some complex concepts, young children can listen to the magic at the center of the story and be captivated." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

      Grades: 1st & Up

  Mojave

by Diane Siebert

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

"A descriptive and poetic evocation of the plants, animals, natural features, and seasonal fluctuations of the desert, accompanied by brilliant and concise paintings of those animals and landscapes. This wonderful adventure through the desert is a treat for inhabitants of all landscapes." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  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

  Mother Earth

by Nancy Luenn

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes 

A message of respect for the planet is lyrically evoked through simple text and soft watercolor illustrations depicting the abundance, beauty and life of "Mother Earth", but also calling us "to use her gifts well and give back what we can."

        Grades: 1st to 3rd

  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 Father's House

by Kathi Appelt

HARDCOVER
Habitats & Ecosystems
Experience of Nature 

This is an illustrated spiritual poem of thanksgiving to the "Father" for all the many "mansions", the various habitats with the animals that comprise this beautiful blue planet that is our home. The lyrical verses and stylized artwork evoke a sense of wonder of the beauty and diversity of the natural world -- the Ocean "with its salted silver spray", the Tundra, the Woodland halls, the Prairie, the Rain Forest "with its attic where treetops catch the clouds", the misty Marsh, the Desert and the Mountains with "their porches wrapped in snow".

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Nature's Art Box

by Laura Martin

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Nature provides a wealth of materials to create beautiful crafts using twigs, mosses, vines, cones, clay, stones, sand, shells, gourds, pods, husks, seeds, flowers and leaves. Encouraging readers to harvest the gifts of the Earth responsibly, Martin’s Nature’s Art Box includes detailed instructions, supplemented by illustrations, for 65 projects made with natural materials that can be found almost anywhere. Information is also provided for making homemade inks, dyes, paints, clay, glue and paste, some of which might require adult supervision. The "Nature Skills" section details the decorative uses and times for the harvesting of flowers, nuts, herbs, vegetables, mosses and trees. Using the gifts of nature and one’s imagination, children can create beautiful, natural crafts such as dolls, toy houses, rattles, pottery, necklaces, figurines, Navajo style sand paintings, Zen gardens, greeting cards, nature journals, candles, window or tree ornaments, wall hangings, sachets, African designs, dried flower bouquets, woodland creatures, fairies and headbands as well as make decorations for T-shirts, handbags and boxes. According to Martin, "we can work hand in hand with nature and use the gifts she has given us to create things that are touched with her beauty."

See also: Bobbe Needham's Ecology Crafts For Kids
Laura Martin's other activity book, Recycled Crafts Box: Sock puppets, carboard castles, bottle bugs and 37 more earth-friendly porjects & activities you can create

      Grades: 4th to 8th

  Night Tree

by Eve Bunting

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

An annual family tradition provides the festive, yet intimate, setting for a Christmas Eve celebration in the woods. After decorating a live tree with food of popcorn chains, sunflower balls and fruits and scattering bread crumbs and nuts for little creatures that cannot climb well, the family shares songs under the moonlit sky. Later at home, the boy delights in imagining the feast of the woodland animals at their decorated tree.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  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

  Old Turtle

by Douglas Wood

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"Back when all the rocks and animals and plants and waters of the earth could speak, they had an argument over where and how a supernatural being, or God, manifests his or herself. Then the people came. Forgetting that they are part of the earth too, the people destroyed many natural features and fought among themselves until eventually, the old turtle set them straight. Soft, fluid watercolors are a delightful companion to the text. This modern fable provides an evocative call for peace with respect to all of the interrelationships of the earth." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

Recommended in Nature's Course (November/December 1996) published by CCEL.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Old Turtle and the Broken Truth

by Douglas Wood

HARDCOVER
Multicultural
Experience of Nature 

Old Turtle and the Broken Truth is beautiful, thought-provoking fable, instilling a message of respect for the unity of mankind and for the small, beautiful truths of the world that can be found in "listening once more to the language of breezes, by learning lessons from stones and animals and trees and stars. " The delicate, shimmering watercolor and ink illustrations reflect the mood and beauty of the lyrical text. The wise turtle of Wood’s 1992 classic, Old Turtle, calls upon readers to reflect on "a world made of small and gentle truths, of all the peoples being one People," as they see themselves in one another.

      Grades: 4th and up

  On the Day You Were Born

by Debra Frasier

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

"This is the story of how different environmental entities welcome the birth of a newborn child. The rhythmic text gently reveals how each child's birth is a wonderful addition to the natural world. The spirited artwork vividly depicts the plants, animals, geographic features, heavenly bodies, and physical properties that collectively comprise the natural environment. An appendix follows with detailed facts about the highlighted features." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.


See also:
Nancy Tillman's On the Night You Were Born

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Once There Was A Tree

by Natalia Romanova

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

Originally published in Moscow in 1983, this delicately illustrated picture book shows the life that continues in and around a tree stump once an old tree, split by lighting, is felled to the ground. Describing the variety of creatures, namely ants, beetles, bears, birds and people, that all use the tree stump as a home, a source of food as well as a resting place, the simple and direct prose shows the interconnectedness of nature and poses a question to whom a tree belongs -- "The tree belongs to all, because it grows from the earth that is home for all."

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  One Earth, One Spirit

by Compiled by Tessa Strickland

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Compiled especially for children with stunning photographs of youth from all over the world, this collection of prayers from Eastern and Western faiths and cultures celebrates our sacred bond with the Earth and the unifying connection of all life. A deep reverence for the Earth is expressed in these lyrical verses which originate from Native American, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Taoist and Hindu cultures. "Notes on the Prayers" is included for adults to help young readers better understand the universality of spiritual experience and the origin of each selection.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  One Grain of Sand

by Pete Seeger

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

In 1956 Pete Seeger began writing "One Grain of Sand," a lullaby for his youngest daughter, and over the years improvised its verses and melodies. The lyrics of the song compare the delicate grain of sand to a drop of water in the sea, a snowflake in a storm, a lonely star in the sky, a leaf of grass on a plain and a splashed raindrop. Blue and earth-toned illustrations gently weave throughout the world depicting parents and children in panoramas and close-ups -- on the sands of a tropical beach, along the banks of an Indian river, in urban, coastal and rural settings as well as Nordic snows and gentle rain showers. Scenes of animals with their young -- giraffes in Africa, cats on urban roofs and polar bears on ice floes -- as well as imagery of wild horses streaming over plains and schools of fish swirling in the ocean, all lyrically complement the flow of Seeger's lullaby evoking parental love and the fragility of the environment. (The book also includes Seeger's commentary and three lines of musical notation of the lullaby.)

      Grades: Baby to Pre-school

  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

  The Other Way to Listen

by Byrd Baylor

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

"Evocative pictures and a captivating story teach love and respect for the natural community, coaxing the reader to listen for the most discreet sounds. If you are open to the possibilities, you too may learn to hear rocks murmuring, seeds bursting, and stars singing in the sky. This book introduces children to the subtle wonders of a close relationship to nature, cultivated through curiosity and exploration, sustained by the thrill of paying close attention to nature." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

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

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Our Big Home

by Linda Glaser

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes 

Linda Glaser and illustrator Elisa Kleven created this "Earth poem" with the hope "that their vision of Earth as the shared home of all peoples and animals and plants will offer the world's children a deeper understanding of humankind's responsibility to care for our planet." The lyrical verse and delicate drawings of water, sun, soil, air and sky show children their co-existence with other living beings and their role as caretakers of this unique and beautiful planet.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Out of the Ocean

by Debra Frasier

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

During a walk on the seashore a mother and daughter marvel at their surroundings: the girl at the treasures washed up by the ocean, the seashells, pelican feathers, messages in bottles, a wooden shoe and burnished glass; the mother at the sun, the water, sea turtle tracks and the sound of waves. Full-color close-up photographs and mixed media collages of found objects created by the author complement the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the narrative. A photographic afterword for older readers elucidates the origins of the found treasures and the fundamental elements of the ocean setting -- the waves, sun, water, moon and sand.

        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

  The Owl Who Became the Moon

by Jonathan London

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

Lyrical prose and vivid illustrations describe the sights and sounds of the snow-covered, mountainous landscape and the wildlife as a train journeys nearby on a wondrous, moonlit night.

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

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Paddle-to-the-Sea

by Holling Clancy Holling

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

Paddle-to-the-Sea, a pine figure of an Indian in a canoe, is placed by the boy who carved and christened it into the melting snows of a stream. The fascinating journey of this wooden figure, hundreds of miles down streams and rivers through the Great Lakes down the Saint Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean, will intrigue young readers with adventures that describe natural and man-made habitats as well as provide a captivating geographical lesson of watersheds and waterways of this region.

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

        Grades: 4th to 6th

  Peboan and Seegwun

by Charles Larry

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"An old man sits alone in his lodge at the end of winter, listening to the winds blowing across the hard snow. One day, he has a young visitor with whom he shares a pipe. The two also share stories of their magical natural powers. The old man can make the leaves fall from the trees. The young man can unlock the streams, filling the air with musical laughter. As spring arrives, the youthful Seegwun, the Spirit of Spring, recognizes his elder host as none other than Peboan, Old Man Winter. Strikingly detailed illustrations animate the seasons of the North Woods in this Ojibwa story, which demonstrates how opposites like spring and winter, and youth and old age, are all part of the same spectrum." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  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

  Professor Angelicus Visits the Big Blue Ball

by L.B.B. Ward

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

This engrossing adventure novel takes readers on a magical journey of the imagination while presenting important social and environmental issues. Two children and a dog try to help Professor Angelicus search for pure water to fuel his spaceship so that he could return to his home planet. However, they must travel far and wide on the globe to find the clean water and along the way encounter a variety of fascinating characters. During their travels the children also learn about the delicate balance of the world and the intricate web of life as well as a variety of environmental issues -- air and water pollution, acid rain, deforestation, poaching, extinction and ozone depletion. This voyage of discovery through skies, cities, towns, rainforests and seas will spark the imagination of readers while inspiring hope, compassion and sharing as well as the necessity of protecting our planet, "the Big Blue Ball".

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Pumpkin Pumpkin

by Jeanne Titherington

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Gardening

A child discovers the wonders of planting a seed which he watches sprout and grow into a big pumpkin that he carves into a Jack-O-Lantern from which he saves seeds for planting next spring. The simple text and delicately illustrated drawings show the child's fascination and joy in observing nature unfold.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Ring of Earth: A Child's Book of Seasons

by Jane Yolen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

"Through poetic thoughts and magical paintings this book portrays the rhythms and cycles of the natural world from winter to the following summer. Children and adults alike should revel in these descriptions of our world, which put events and places within the context of the cycle of the seasons." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

The four poems of the cycle of seasons, of the rhythms of life in a New England countryside are: "Winter Song of the Weasel", "Song of the Spring Peeper", "Dragonfly's Summer Song" and "Autumn Song of the Goose".

      Grades: 3rd & Up

  Rising Sun

by Tricia Garwood & Frank Hajcak

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

The experiential and spiritual journey of a Native American youth is presented in this picture book through evocative lyrical prose and beautiful paper cut-out illustrations that bring children the message of their connection with the rest of nature. Rising Sun leaves his home to pursue a quest for wisdom and to understand what one must know to live a worthy life. His journey unfolds the beauty of the world and instills in him a love of nature and the knowledge of the importance of protecting the chain of life to which all belong. Having learned these valuable lessons, he returns to teach his wisdom and understanding to his people. This eloquent book will appeal not only to preschoolers but also through its poetic and fundamental message to readers of all ages. (Printed in USA on recycled paper.)

      Grades: Preschool & up

  Sea Watch

by Jane Yolen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

This moving collection of Yolen's poetry is complemented by the lifelike, watercolor paintings by Ted Lewin celebrating the mysterious inhabitants of the ocean. The fourteen poems include: Anemone, The Grunion, Father Seahorse, Sea Canary -- Beluga, Paper Nautilus, Warning: Sharks, The Crab, Portuguese Man-Of-War, Leatherback Turtle, Pacific Salmon, Sea Otter, Octopus, Barracuda, and Killer Whales. "Sea Watch Notes" at the end of the book provides background information about characteristics and behavior of the various sea creatures depicted in the fourteen lyrical poems.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  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

  The Seashore Book

by Charlotte Zolotow

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

"A boy from the mountains asks of his mother one night 'what is the seashore like?' What follows is an imaginative sensory adventure through a day at the seashore, from watching the sun break through the morning mist to picking up shells at the water's edge, from listening to the sounds of the wind and the waves to watching the big orange sun sink down from the top of a dune. Exquisite paintings delightfully depict the seashore activities with great attentiveness." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Sierra

by Diane Siebert

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

"The story's words and pictures eloquently describe the plant and animal communities that mountain climates support, as well as the negative ways that humans have influenced mountain ecosystems. A particular mountain tells its history from geologic uplift and glaciation, to its present climatic conditions, speaking of how all features of an ecosystem are interrelated." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  SkySisters

by Jan Bourdeau Waboose

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

During a wintry, frozen night in the North, two Ojibway sisters set outdoors to seek the midnight dance of the SkySpirits. Hiking through the countryside, they encounter woodland animals, crack icicles hanging on trees, capture snowflakes in the wind, dance and make angels in the snow and then, having waited patiently on Coyote Hill, they finally see the arrival of the shimmering SkySpirits – the Northern Lights. The radiant oil paintings evoke the luminous colors of winter’s night as well as the beauty and brilliance of the Aurora Borealis.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  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

  Snapshots: The Wonders of Monterey Bay

by Celeste Mannis

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

The wonders of Monterey Bay are vividly captured in stunning photography, poetic verse and informative text describing the rugged coastline, the glimmering tidepools and the diversity of life forms of this unique marine ecosystem. The Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, "the largest federally protected marine environment in North America, " is the site of a vast underwater canyon larger than the Grand Canyon and of rocky shores, kelp forests, sandy beaches, marshes and dunes. Home to sea otters, sea lions, brown pelicans, black-tailed and mule deer, rare moths and butterflies, egrets, blue herons and cormorants, the sanctuary is also visited annually by Northern elephant seals as a rookery and by whales and birds during their migrations. Readers can explore the beauty and astounding diversity of ocean and coastal life as well as spectacular vistas and close-ups of the bay, inland marshes and dunes that inspired author and photographer, Mannis, to share her love of the unique coastal ecosystem where the Pacific Ocean meets central California.

For more information, visit: The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and The Monterey Bay Aquarium.

      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

  The Snowflake : A Water Cycle Story

by Neil Waldman

HARDCOVER
Water & Its Cycle
Experience of Nature 

During a snowstorm in January, a snowflake falls from the sky onto a jagged mountain. Over the course of a year, month by month transforming from snow to ice to water to vapor, the droplet journeys through the various stages of the water cycle in this lyrical picture book of Waldman’s watercolor artwork. Each month depicts water flowing through underground streams into pipes of irrigation systems, evaporating to form fog and condensing into a cloud, raining down through a plumbing system and flowing back to the ocean, and, having completed the cycle, falling once again as snow onto a jagged mountain.

See also:
Barbara Shaw McKinney's A Drop Around the World, and
Meredith Hooper's The Drop in My Drink

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Snowy Day

by Ezra Jack Keats

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

Winner of the Caldecott Medal in 1963, Keats' beautifully simple picture book describes the wonders of a boy as he explores the magic of a winter wonderland after a snowfall in a city.

      Grades: Baby to Pre-school

  Someday a Tree

by Eve Bunting

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

"Over the years Alice has developed a strong affection for the oak tree near the highway at the edge of her family's farm. So when the tree becomes sick, Alice is devastated. Many people are engaged in efforts to save the tree, but nothing helps -- until Alice remembers the jar of acorns on her windowsill. Even though the tree cannot be saved, Alice realizes that she can plant an acorn, and maybe, someday, there will again be a healthy tree growing there. The soft, sensitive illustrations provide a delightful companion to this moving story." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  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

  Squirrel and John Muir

by Emily Arnold McCully

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

Caldecott medalist, author and illustrator, McCully, has envisioned the fictional encounter of two historical figures in the beautiful setting of Yosemite, illustrated by stunning watercolor artwork. During the late 1860’s, six-year old Floy Hutchings, nicknamed "Squirrel" for her feisty personality, meets John Muir when he finds work at her father’s tourist hotel in Yosemite Valley. During his free time Muir explores the valley and mountains, studying the rocks and boulders to support his theory of the glacier formation of Yosemite. "Squirrel" trails him, curiously observing his patience, enthusiasm and determination. The inquisitive girl looks on as he builds a cabin over a stream, examines wildflowers and climbs a tree to experience a storm. As a friendship develops between the two, Muir becomes Floy’s guide, revealing the beauty and mysteries of the animals, plants and geology that surround her in Yosemite. The "Author’s Note" of this picture book expands on the historical context of the two characters, noting the significance of Muir’s later preservation work of the natural treasure as well as the short life of Floy in Yosemite.

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Squish! A Wetland Walk

by Nancy Luenn

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

"Squish! is a perfect way to introduce wetlands, the important habitat they provide and the vital role they plan in the water system. In beautiful watercolors, Himler illustrates a child's-eye view of the wetland with its animals and birds as a little boy and his grandfather discover them on a walk through their 'water meadow'." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (January/February 1996) 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

  Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

The classic poem by the great American poet is richly illustrated by the beautiful artwork of Susan Jeffers and brings to readers the wondrous beauty and mystery of winter in the frosty New England scenery.

      Grades: Preschool & up

  The Story of Thanksgiving

by Robert Merrill Bartlett

HARDCOVER
Multicultural
Experience of Nature 

Focusing on the Pilgrims celebration of Thanksgiving and providing a brief historical perspective of the roots of harvest festivals in ancient Greek, Roman, Jewish and early European cultures, Bartlett describes the background of the settlers in Plymouth, their religious persecution in England and the assistance that was provided to them by the Wampanoags in America. The celebration of the first Thanksgiving feast is described and the later establishment of Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863. Colorful pastel drawings complement the text and a recipe for Pumpkin Muffins as well as the music and words to "Over the River and Through the Woods" is also included. The author was a descendent of the original Pilgrims of Plymouth and presents a European perspective of Thanksgiving that can be contrasted to the Wampanoag perspective of the feast in 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Grace and Bruchac.

      Grades: 1st to 4th

  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

  Sunflower House

by Eve Bunting

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Plants & Flowers

From carefully tended seeds grows a circle of yellow sunflowers that becomes an imaginative setting of a castle, a cage, a picnic area and, at night, a sleep area. The rhythmic verse follows a boy through the experiences of planting, weeding and watering through his observations of the emerging plants to his play with friends in the varied settings of his sunflower house. At the end of the summer they discover that, although their sunflower circle is wilting, there are seeds to be collected for the birds and for next year's house of sunflowers.

        Grades: Preschool to 1st

  The Symphony of Whales

by Steve Schuch

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

Inspired by an actual event of the rescue of whales in the 1980's by the inhabitants of the Chukchi Peninsula of northeast Siberia, the lyrical prose and dreamlike oil paintings of this book evoke the bleak arctic setting of this powerful story and the ephemeral musical bond between humans and cetaceans. Focusing on Glashka and her unique gift to hear the sound of a whale that leads to the discovery of thousands of stranded belugas in an inlet, the book describes Glashka's sense of her responsibility and the compassion, determination and courage of the aboriginal people in working together to save the trapped whales and lead them back to the ocean.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back

by Joseph Bruchac

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

"Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back: A Native American Year of Moons" is a celebration of the seasons of the year and of the majesty of nature presented through a beautifully illustrated collection of poems based on Native legends. In many of the Native American cultures, each of the thirteen moons of the year holds its own story like the 13 sections of the shell of a turtle that is believed to contain the meaning of the cycles of the moon.

The thirteen moons with respective poems adapted from Native American legends include: 1. Moon Popping of Trees (Northern Cheyenne), 2. Baby Bear Moon (Potawatomi), 3. Maple Sugar Moon (Anishinabe), 4. Frog Moon (Cree), 5. Budding Moon (Huron), 6. Strawberry Moon (Seneca), 7. Moon When Acorns Appear (Pomo), 8. Moon of Wild Rice (Menominee), 9. Moose-Calling Moon (Micmac), 10. Moon of Falling Leaves (Cherokee), 11. Moon When Deer Drop Their Horns (Winnebago), 12. Moon When Wolves Run Together (Lakota Sioux), and, 13. Big Moon (Abenaki).

        Grades: 1st to 4th

  This is the Sea That Feeds Us

by Robert F. Baldwin

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

Beginning with the ocean's phytoplankton, "the basic food of the sea" that through photosynthesis make sugar from the light of the sun, this picture book for children explores the food web and the interdependence of life on the ocean. From the microscopic plankton to crabs, from krill to whales, from fish to humans, the intricate web weaves itself in cumulative verse through the full spread illustrations. Detailed explanations for older children complement the main verse. Readers of all ages will be fascinated to learn about the zillions of microscopic creatures floating in the oceans that produce over half the supply of the world's oxygen and upon which the marine food web depends.

        Grades: Preschool & up

  Time of Wonder

by Robert McCloskey

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

"Here is the story of a magical summer in the islands of Maine. Children frolic in the forests and the seas, attentively watch fiddlehead ferns unfurl, jump off a rock that the glaciers carved, and gaze into the water at the reflection of the stars. We witness the arrival of a hurricane, and all the preparation that precedes a natural event of such intensity. In the calm silence of the morning after, we explore the tops of felled trees and watch storm-flattened sunflowers stretch their heads toward the sun. The pages of this book extol the wonders of the world of summer through the curious eyes of a child." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

A Caldecott Medal winner (1988).

        Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  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

  A Turkey for Thanksgiving

by Eve Bunting

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature

Illustrated with colorful, cartoonlike drawings, this picture book is a humorous, lighthearted story about a turkey. When Mr. & Mrs. Moose invite Turkey to their Thanksgiving feast, Turkey runs away, but later finds himself in the company of friends, sharing the Thanksgiving dinner at, not on, the table.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Uno's Garden

by Graeme Base

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes 

Uno arrives in an extraordinary forest inhabited by a fantastic assortment of plants and animals, including Leaping Lumpybums, Feathered Frinklepods, Playful Puddlebuts, Sneaky Snagglebites, Timid Tumbletops, Grazing Gondolopes as well as the ordinary, yet elusive, Snortlepig. Over time as more people discover the wonders of the forest, a village grows in the area, gradually expanding into a town. As a sprawling city develops, the forest and almost all of its fantastic creatures disappear, replaced by endless buildings and pollution. Graeme Base’s humorous number and puzzle storybook, replete with imaginative imagery, conveys a cautionary, yet hopeful message to readers as Uno’s descendents change their habits to live sustainably in balance with nature.

See also:
Lynne Cherry's The Dragon and the Unicorn, and
Laurence Anholt's The Forgotten Forest

      Grades: 2nd & up

  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

  Walking With Henry

by Thomas Locker

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Experience of Nature 

Readers embark on an imaginary journey with Henry David Thoreau deep into the pathless wilderness as he travels through woods, past waterfalls, onto a mountain and into the midst of a storm, experiencing the sights and sounds of nature and quietly observing the flora and fauna. Locker’s luminous panoramic paintings of the New England scenery and his poetic descriptions of this contemplative journey are complemented at the end of the book by "Thoreau on Wilderness", a selection of quotes from his writings providing readers an insight into the poet-philosopher’s reverence for nature.

      Grades: 1st to 5th

  Water

by Frank Asch

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Water & Its Cycle 

"With beautiful, bright water color paintings, and in simple plain text, Frank Asch gives his young readers a clear and gentle portrait of water and what it is. From rain and dew to a long winding river, water is presented in its many forms in a way accessible to kindergarteners. For older elementary students each page can be used as a gateway for further discussion." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1997) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Water Dance

by Thomas Locker

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Water & Its Cycle 

"In this stunningly beautiful book, Thomas Locker presents the story of water in lush oil paintings and quiet moving text: 'Some people say that I am one thing. Others say that I am many. Ever since the world began I have been moving in an endless circle. Sometimes I fall from the sky. I am the rain.' . . . The Afterward is more than just scientific facts; it is beautifully and poetically written and it makes the water cycle accessible to any age reader." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1997) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 5th

  The Water Hole

by Graeme Base

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Environmental Themes  : Extinction & Conservation

This amusing puzzle and counting book carrying an ecological theme artfully depicts the diversity of animals of different habitats from around the world -- each group looking onto a water hole that grows smaller and smaller at each successive image. As more and more animals at each habitat crowd around the dwindling water hole, one-by-one the frogs disappear . . . until the rainstorm when all the animals are reunited around the plentiful water hole. Graeme Base, who both wrote and illustrated the book, was inspired by a safari in Kenya and Tanzania to create a book about the cycle of seasons on the African plains, which was eventually expanded to include other habitats and their wildlife -- rhinos, tigers, toucans, snow leopards, moose, catfish, pandas, ladybugs, tortoises and kangaroos -- from India, South America, the Himalayas, North America, China, Europe, the Galapagos and Australia.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Water Music

by Jane Yolen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Water & Its Cycle 

"This book is a perfect blend of words and pictures. In response to her son's lovely photographs, Jane Yolen has written about water in its various forms. The photos and poems offer new ways of seeing water and ice, sometimes, in surprising ways." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (Fall 1997) published by CCEL.

        Grades: 3rd to 7th

  The Waterfall's Gift

by Joanne Ryder

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

Readers are taken on a voyage of memories through woodland beauty as a young girl journeys to the north woods she and her grandfather used to explore. As she wanders into the woods past a stream, stopping to eat berries and chirp to the birds, she hears the call of the waterfall -- "The old north woods hides treasure in its deepest places," her grandfather had told her. As she rests at the pool of the waterfall, she shares her secret place with a curious otter. The detailed tempera paintings by Watson capture the beauty of the lyrical prose and natural setting of the north woods in this journey of the senses through time in nature.

        Grades: 1st through 3rd

  The Way to Start a Day

by Byrd Baylor

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

The exultant beginning to a new day is evoked through cultures of the past and contemporary ones throughout the world depicted in lyrical text and drawings showing cavemen, Peruvians, Egyptians, Africans and Chinese welcoming the sun. The poetic beauty of a sunrise could inspire a song.

A Caldecott Honor Book.

        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

  Welcome to the Green House

by Jane Yolen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

"The beautiful illustrations in this book make the sounds, smells, sights, colors and textures of the rain forest come alive. Welcome to the Green House teaches how plants are the source of life for many rain forest creatures, providing habitat and food." Excerpt of review from Nature's Course (November/December 1993) published by CCEL.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Welcome to the Ice House

by Jane Yolen

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

The cycle of seasons, from the long, cold nights of winter to the colorful explosion of flowers in the spring and summer to the return of winter's darkness, is portrayed with lyrical text and dramatic illustrations. Through the "shades of white" of the wintry land roam the arctic fox, a howling wolf pack, lynx, polar bear and moose, while beneath the ice swim the seals, walruses and killer whales. The coming of warm weather brings the return of the loons, terns and puffins to a snowless, iceless landscape and the thunderous arrival of the caribou across the colorful, flowering tundra, while other animals, like the grizzly bear awaken from their sleep. With the return of the winter, the darkness descends once more onto the cold vastness of the Arctic land, "the ice house".

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: Jonathan Grupper's Destination: Polar Regions.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Welcome to the Sea of Sand

by Jane Yolen

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

The sensuous beauty of the Sonora Desert is evoked in a dramatically illustrated book that portrays the flora and fauna of this "sea of sand" teeming with life -- the sounds of animals who roam the desert, the brilliant colors after a rainstorm as well as the lyrical beauty of the forms of the landscape itself.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  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 I’m Sleepy

by Jane R. Howard

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

A sleepy child speculates what it would be like to sleep in other places than one's own warm bed. She slumbers curled up against cats, bears, owls, goats, birds, raccoons and bears and even imagines sleeping underwater with whales, in a swamp with turtles, upside down as a bat, standing upright like a giraffe or even between two penguins on the cold ice. Exquisitely illustrated by Lynne Cherry, this tranquil book provides an imaginative yet soothing bedtime story for young children that explores the natural world.

        Grades: Baby to Pre-school

  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 Do I Sleep?

by Jennifer Blomgren

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

"Where Do I Sleep" is a stunning, lullaby picture book of the Pacific Northwest. Blomgren’s lyrical, calming verse describes the habitats and sleep patterns of eighteen animals of the Pacific Northwest while Gabriel’s double-page, close-up pastels of the resting creatures depict the natural beauty and diversity of the region. From descriptions of a gray wolf pup napping in the Alaskan tundra, a puffling sleeping in an island cliffside and a baby sea otter on the mother’s belly swaying in a kelp bed, to a fawn slumbering underneath low trees, a brown bat hanging upside down in a cave and a red fox yawning in the underground den – the rhythmic verse also includes the young animals of the gray whale, brown bear, bald eagle, hermit thrush, mountain goat, cougar, moose, water dipper, salmon and even an anemone and a garden spider. At the end of this tranquil poem a child is pictured sleeping soundly in bed under the moonlight surrounded by stuffed animals of the Pacific Northwest.

      Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  Where the Forest Meets the Sea

by Jeannie Baker

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

During a day outing with his father at a shore where a tropical rain forest meets the ocean, a boy follows a creek into the wilderness. Pretending it is over a hundred million years ago, he observes the forest, listens to its sounds and imagines now-extinct creatures as well as Aboriginal children playing in ancient trees. Lifelike collages take readers through a visual journey depicting the flora and fauna of the Australian Daintree Rainforest. At the end of the day, as they leave to go home, the pristine shore is overlaid by translucent images of development -- the boy wonders whether the forest will still be there when they return.

For more information about, as well as images of, the Daintree Rainforest in North Queensland, Australia, visit: Rainforest Rescue

See also:
Brenda Guiberson's Rain Rain Rain Forest, and
Lynne Cherry's The Great Kapok Tree

        Grades: Kindergarten & Up

  Where the River Begins

by Thomas Locker

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Water & Its Cycle 

"Josh and Aaron set out on a journey, guided by their grandfather and their curiosities, to discover where the river that flows by their house begins. They backpack through many landscapes, following the river until they come to a pond, high in the mountains --- they have discovered the source of the river. The children learn about the cycle of water that brings rain to the pond, down through the river, and out into the ocean. Magical landscape paintings celebrate the pure wonder of this natural journey." From Bringing the World Alive: A Bibliography of Nature Stories for Children, published by The Orion Society.

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

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  Who Is the World For

by Tom Pow

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

"Who is the world for?" ask the young creatures of the world -- the bear, the lion, the whale, the hippo, the owl, the hare and a human child -- of their parents. As each elder lyrically responds, pointing out the world from their own perspective, readers glimpse through the naturalistic watercolor illustrations the beauty of the worlds described by the parents to their young. "The world is for everyone" says the father of the child since it is shared by all living creatures.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  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 Solstice

by Ellen Jackson

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Multicultural 

Years ago throughout many cultures, the shortest day of the year was marked for its darkness by rituals and ceremonies. While providing the scientific explanation of the winter solstice, Jackson focuses on the folklore of the ancient Scots, Britons, Romans and Scandinavians marking the winter solstice as well as the sun ceremonies of Native Americans -- of which certain traditions are carried into our modern celebrations of Christmas and Hanukah. A Solstice Story, adapted from a Cherokee tale of creation that explains the meaning of the winter solstice, is also included in this fascinating picture book.

See also:
Jean Craighead George's Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here -- a grandmother writes to her granddaughter on the winter solstice about the seasonal changes in nature.

See also by Ellen Jackson:
The Summer Solstice
The Spring Equinox
The Autumn Equinox

        Grades: 2nd to 4th

  Winter Trees

by Carole Gerber

PAPERBACK
Experience of Nature
Flora  : Trees & Forests

On a snowy winter day a boy and his dog take a walk through a forest where they observe the trees and animals, draw maple syrup and build a snowman. Simple, yet poetic, text and graphic illustrations evoke the quiet stillness and describe the forms of seven trees in winter – sugar maple, American beech, paper birch, yellow poplar, bur oak, Eastern hemlock and white spruce.

        Grades: Preschool to 2nd

  A Wish To Be a Christmas Tree

by Colleen Monroe

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature

Touching upon themes of friendship, identity and generosity, this picture book for young children shows the gratitude of a group of animals towards a bedraggled pine in a tree farm that feels "neglected" when it is not chopped down to be a Christmas tree. In gratitude for the protection and shelter the tree has provided throughout the seasons and over the years, the squirrels, birds and deer decorate the fir with acorns, berries and icicles as the birds sing their songs of thanks to their valued friend.

      Grades: Preschool to 3rd

  Woodland Counting Book

by Claudia McGehee

HARDCOVER
Experience of Nature
Habitats & Ecosystems 

Years ago before the pioneers settled the prairies, the bordering woodlands were home to numerous plants and animals, many of which are now endangered or extinct. McGehee’s counting book, exquisitely illustrated by colorful scratchboard artwork, introduces readers to the diversity and beauty of life that abounds in woodland communities over a cycle of seasons beginning with spring. From towering oaks, brilliant serviceberries and patches of mayapple wildflowers to pale green luna moths, tree-climbing gray foxes, blue spotted salamanders and colonies of carpenter ants – each page offers a visual and counting exploration of the woodland habitat in which young children can count up to 50 members of a species. "Woodland Notes" invites older readers to learn more about the twenty-three different plants and animals cited in the book which are now left in small portions of remaining woodland habitat, for "each mighty in its own way, every woodland member fills a special place in nature."

As part of the Green Press Initiative, this book is printed by the University of Iowa Press on recycled acid-free paper.

See also:
Claudia McGehee's A Tallgrass Prairie Alphabet, and
Jonathan London's Phantom of the Prairie: Year of the Black Footed Ferret

      Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd

  The World That We Want

by Kim Michelle Toft

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Experience of Nature 

Interweaving cumulative text describing the Earth’s ecosystems with vivid imagery of respective animals, Australian author and illustrator Toft presents the interrelationships and delicate balance of our living planet, focusing upon forty-five animals in their corresponding habitats of the ocean, air, rain forest, river, mangrove, beach, tide pool, reef or atoll. The stunning artwork, drawn and painted onto silk, culminates in a four-page panoramic foldout depicting all the animals and ecosystems of a world that we want “that protects, feeds, and shelters everything that lives on it.” The endnotes further elaborate each ecosystem and its wildlife communities as well as the threats posed by pollution, deforestation or climactic changes, emphasizing the interconnectedness of life and the need for balance.

        Grades: Preschool to 3rd