Topic: Field Guides & Activity Books

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

by Ann C. Cooper

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  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

  Bird Watching with Margaret Morse Nice

by Michael Elsohn Ross

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Field Guides & Activity Books 

As part of the Naturalist's Apprentice Series, the biography of the ornithologist Margaret Morse Nice is an inspiring book describing her lifelong interest in the study of birds, their vocalizations and behavior. In spite of the prejudices against women at the turn of the century, Nice combined the responsibilities of motherhood with her scientific pursuits. Considered the founder of ethology, the study of animal behavior, Nice contributed to the scientific research of birds, in particular the study of song sparrows, published numerous writings and also crusaded in conserving nature. Insets throughout the books suggest a variety of activities for children on watching birds, the use of field equipment as well as descriptions of common bird species that complement the textual descriptions of Nice's research.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Bug Watching with Charles Henry Turner

by Michael Elsohn Ross

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Field Guides & Activity Books 

An inspiring biographical account of the life of entomologist, Charles Henry Turner, his distinguished contributions to the scientific knowledge of insects and spiders as well as the difficulties he encountered as an Afro-American scientist around the turn of the century are presented in this biography of the Naturalist's Apprentice Series. Insets with suggestions for projects and field studies of bees, spiders and ants complement clear, informative descriptions of Turner's research.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book

by Robin Michal Koontz

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Through thirty-one, fun-filled activities and projects, "The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book" shows children how to create a "naturescape," a place for wild creatures to find food, water and shelter, either in a suburban backyard or in urban settings of rooftops and apartment balconies. While emphasizing the importance that wildlife needs to remain "wild", the author has created an activity book with factual information and illustrated activities through which children can learn about nature as they invite wildlife into their local environment. For those who do not have space to create a naturescape, the author suggests extending projects to community involvement as well as making gifts out of some of the activities. Projects, many of which use recycled materials, include the creation of native flowering gardens, the building of feeders, planter boxes, bird baths, bat houses, birdhouses and ponds -- all with the focus of working with nature to sustain native wildlife.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  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

  Eagles: Hunters of the Sky (The Wonder Series)

by Ann C. Cooper

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

      Grades: 4th to 6th

  Earth Book For Kids

by Linda Schwartz

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Pollution & Sustainability
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Earth Book for Kids is a comprehensive activity book for children that introduces basic environmental concepts and includes numerous creative ideas to help heal the Earth. From making their own paper and creating a trash sculpture to comparing phosphate levels in detergents, testing the effects of an oil spill, measuring the acidity of rainwater and charting the use of water at home, kids can gain a deeper understanding of the range of environmental issues as well as find creative suggestions to save their planet. Accompanied by charts and black and white illustrations, the informative text includes sections on: Energy, Resources and Recycling; Air, Land and Water; Plant and Animal Habitats; and, More Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day.

See also:
The Earthworks Group's The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Earth-Friendly Holidays

by George Pfiffner

PAPERBACK
Field Guides & Activity Books
Environmental Themes  : Recycling & Composting

This year-round activity book provides ideas for making holiday gifts and decorations from reusable objects. Halloween Bird Masks and Skull Garlands, Kwanzaa Place Mats, Hanukkah Dreidels, Thanksgiving Leaf Garlands, Mother's Day Balloon Vases and Fabric Cards, Father's Day Bookmarks, Earth Day Soda Bottle Greenhouses, Christmas Photo Frames and Sugar Tree Ornaments, Valentine Carrot Necklaces, Easter Eggshell Centerpieces and Passover Matzo Covers -- these are a sampling of the 29 imaginative holiday projects that can be made out of already used materials. Detailed, step-by-step instructions with illustrations as well as a categorization of level of difficulty are provided for the fun-filled activities, all with a theme of being "earth-friendly".

      Grades: 3rd & up

  EcoArt

by Laurie Carlson

PAPERBACK
Field Guides & Activity Books
Environmental Themes  : Pollution & Sustainability

Using nature’s bounty and treasures from trash, kids can create EcoArt from natural and recycled materials while also learning to value nature and the environment. These earth-friendly art and craft projects are designed for children 3 to 9 years old. Each activity complemented by simple black-and-white drawings is identified as to the approximate degree of difficulty involved. Besides activities for making recycled paper, homemade art and craft supplies, there are growing projects (forest terrarium in a soda bottle), numerous decorative items to craft (pomanders, twig animals, shell butterfly magnets), worlds to build (castles, play houses) as well as games to design (bean bag toss, boomerang).

      Grades: Preschool to 5th

  Eco-Fun

by David Suzuki

PAPERBACK
The Living Earth
Field Guides & Activity Books 

In the forward to his book, scientist David Suzuki writes, "This book contains activities that will help you see and experience the world in a different way, bring you into contact with nature, and remind you that you are a child of the Earth." Through a variety of fun-filled and intriguing eco-related activities, he encourages readers to get to know their world by working with air, water, soil, energy, plants and animals. The projects, experiments and games help understand the various elements, their role and interconnection as well as show how they are being damaged by recent human activity. This collection includes projects to create miniature forest ecosystems, make recycled paper and a veggie chili, measure air pollution and create a solar water heater, build wormeries and worm composters and make "green" household cleaners.

Visit: www.davidsuzuki.org

      Grades: 4th to 8th

  Ecology Crafts for Kids

by Bobbe Needham

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes
Field Guides & Activity Books 

In Needham’s comprehensive activity book, photographs of children are found on many pages showing them creating ecological crafts or being involved in a variety of activities to help the planet. The eco-friendly projects, using reused, recycled or natural materials, also include information to prepare natural clay and make a sawdust kiln, to set up backyard habitats to attract birds and small animals as well as ideas for Earth-friendly parties and for Earth Day celebrations, based on examples of what kids across the US have done to get involved. Detailed instructions are given for 50 creative projects -- how to use old eggshells to make mosaics, rocks to paint as toy houses, beach glass to create jewelry, twigs to construct a picture frame, barks to make miniature canoes and baskets, old newspapers to construct papier-mâché piñatas and paper bags to create flower pots. Kids can also learn about endangered species and habitats, read about the life of John Muir and the Sierra Club, find listings of environmental organizations and be inspired by stories of children getting actively involved to help the planet -- planting trees in their community or turning "trash" into treasures that are sold to adopt endangered species and habitats.

      Grades: 4th to 7th

  The Environment

by Rosie Harlow and Sally Morgan

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This book provides an excellent introduction for children to environmental science and to human impact on the planet, offering practical suggestions how to make the world a cleaner and safer place. Comprised of four abridged sections, each of which was first published as a separate book of the Young Discoverers Series, The Environment includes: energy and power, nature in danger, pollution and waste, and garbage and recycling. Illustrations, photographs as well as step-by-step activities broaden the understanding of important environmental issues. Several of the activities include creating smog in a glass jar, brewing tea with solar power, making a worm farm, testing rainwater for pollution, observing food chains, making a highway habitat mobile, making a plant holder out of a reused plastic bottle, recreating the greenhouse effect and cleaning up an oil spill.

For readers wanting specialized information and hands-on activities, the individual books of the Young Discoverers Series by Rosie Harlow and Sally Morgan are:
Energy and Power,
Nature in Danger,
Pollution and Waste, and
Garbage and Recycling

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Flower Watching with Alice Eastwood

by Michael Elsohn Ross

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Young botanists will be inspired by the biography of the self-taught botanist Alice Eastwood, her work as a curator at the California Academy of Sciences, her conservation efforts, her observations about the positive effects of natural fires as well as the descriptions of her research of wildflowers set primarily in the landscapes of Colorado and California at the turn of the century. This biography as part of the Naturalist's Apprentice Series also includes projects and field studies that complement Eastwood's own research.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Fun With Nature

by Mel Boring, Diane L. Burns and Leslie Dendy

HARDCOVER
Field Guides & Activity Books
Animals  : Various Classes

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

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

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

        Grades: 3rd & up

  Fun With Recycling

by Marion Elliott

HARDCOVER
Field Guides & Activity Books
Environmental Themes  : Recycling & Composting

Instead of throwing away plastic, paper and cardboard, kids can make them into creative toys, fun games, decorative jewelry and colorful decorations. An explanation of techniques and templates are provided in the beginning of the book. Each activity includes step-by-step instructions complemented by color photos as well as larger color images of the completed projects. Among the variety of toys, puppets, games, musical instruments, jewelry and decorations that can be made, projects include: junk robots, wild west ranch, clothespin cowboys, space station, tanker truck, tin-can stilts, indoor snowstorm, paper-plate animal masks, pull-along snake, snake sock, pop-up or glove puppets, pinball table, button clacker, rhythm sticks, tambourine, drum, guitar, nail chimes, squeezy bottle dog book-ends, nature or cardboard frames, papier-mâché bowl, appliquéd scarf, patchwork pencil case, squeezy bottle bracelets, foil-bead pendant, rolled-paper beads, Christmas decorations, nature box, and straw or pine cone mobiles.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Grow it Again

by Elizabeth MacLeod

PAPERBACK
Flora : Gardening
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Seeds, plant and root tops, bulbs and tubers of vegetables and fruits that are often discarded from the kitchen can be grown again to create beautiful gardens of unusual flowering or leafy plants. Detailed, illustrated instructions are provided for the planting, growing and care of the plants. Besides recipes (carrot-pineapple muffins, sesame seed bars, baked apples, fruit salad and guacamole) that use fruits or vegetables, parts of which can later be planted, this creative activity books provides ideas for craft projects, including decorating pots and making milk/juice carton planters, seed necklaces and pressed flowers.

See also:
Elizabeth Scholl's Organic Gardening for Kids
Laurie Carlson's Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening
Lois Ehlert's Growing Vegetable Soup
Rosalind Creasy's Blue Potatoes, Orange Tomatoes

      Grades: Activities for Preschool & up

  The Kids' Nature Book

by Susan Milord

PAPERBACK
Field Guides & Activity Books

Each day of the year, presented within a weekly theme, has indoor or outdoor activities or poems and stories for children to explore the natural world. Every week is displayed on a double-sided page with simple black-and-white illustrations. The daily activities and experiences can be followed successively as a calendar or used selectively to accommodate regional variations. In "Coping with Nature", the weekly theme in mid-January, for example, the daily listings include observing animal tracks in the snow, watching for signs of animals foraging, noticing changes in animal fur during winter, feeding of birds and observing winter's coastal wildlife, whereas in "Free Fall", a week during mid-October, the activities center on watching leaves turning color, the pressing, printing and stenciling of autumn leaves, playing the game "Odd Leaf Out" as well as the composting of leaves. The suggested outings and projects as well as an appendix with supplementary information are written in simple terms understandable for older children, while younger children can use the help of parents and teachers.

      Grades: Preschool to 5th

  Kids' Easy-to-Create Wildlife Habitats

by Emily Stetson

PAPERBACK
Habitats & Ecosystems
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Whether they live in small spaces in cities, suburbs or out in the country, children everywhere can create a welcoming place for wildlife and through small efforts protect the natural environments around them. This illustrated book offers plenty of useful information -- suggestions how to counter habitat loss in ones community, activities designed so as not to attract pest or problem wildlife as well as descriptions about common wild animals and their typical habitats.

See also:
Judy Press' Animal Habitats!

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

      Grades: 2nd to 5th

  The Kid's Multicultural Art Book

by Alexandra M. Terzian

PAPERBACK
Multicultural
Field Guides & Activity Books 

The experience of creating ethnic arts and crafts is a means, according to the author Terzian, of understanding and appreciating the traditions of other cultures throughout the world. The roots, rhythms, designs and traditions of Native American, Hispanic, African and Asian cultures are explored in this activity book through the craft making projects and background information of the culture. Although some of the crafts are quite intricate and might require adult supervision, they are adapted to make use of basic materials -- yarn, cardboard, paints, glue, construction paper and poster board, pie plates, markers, egg cartons. Some projects make use of salt dough and papier mache for which recipes are provided. Ethnic crafts include: Egyptian Paper Beads, African Animal Nose Masks, Chinese Good Luck Dragon & Egg Painting, Peacocks of India, Aztec Sun God and Codex, Inuit Finger Masks, Guatemalan Plate Designs and Native American Northwest Coast Totem Poles.

        Grades: 1st & up

  Likeable Recyclables

by Linda Schwartz

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Field Guides & Activity Books 

"Likeable Recyclables" offers children an endless array of fun-filled ways to take trash and turn it into treasures. Bags, bottles, boxes, cans, cartons and cups can be made into a variety of toys, games and art objects such as kachina dolls, castles, maracas, periscopes, animal figures, rockets, totem poles, vehicles, walkie-talkies and dollhouses. This book provides creative projects that also teach children to reuse and recycle.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  My Favorite Tree

by Diane Iverson

PAPERBACK
Flora : Trees & Forests
Field Guides & Activity Books 

My Favorite Tree is an informative children’s guide to the variety of trees that are native to Canada, Mexico or the United States. The trees were chosen by author and illustrator Diane Iverson for their varied habitats, geographic areas and their role in the balance of nature. Each tree has a full-page illustration of children enjoying their favorite tree, while the facing page contains interesting factual information about the tree’s habitat and map, its physical characteristics, its uses by wildlife as well as its traditional and historical importance to Natives and Colonists. Besides a glossary and information about organizations protecting trees, the 27 trees described in this guide are: Green Ash, Quaking Aspen, Paper Birch, Eastern Red Cedar, Black Cherry, Fremont Cottonwood, Flowering Dogwood, American Elm, American Holly, Honeylocust, Joshua Tree, Southern Magnolia, Sugar Maple, Bur Oak, Gambel Oak, ‘Ohi’a Lehua (Hawaiian), Cabbage Palmetto, Common Persimmon, Ponderosa Pine, Eastern Redbud, Coast Redwood, Giant Saguaro, White Spruce, Sweet Gum, American Sycamore, Black Walnut and Pacific Yew.

      Grades: 1st to 6th

  My Nature Journal

by Adrienne Olmstead

HARDCOVER
The Living Earth
Field Guides & Activity Books 

As a keepsake journal of both explorative and reflective activities, this nature guide offers young people an interactive journey of discovery, understanding and appreciation of their natural world. Incorporating both sensual and intellectual skills, it provides scientific information as well as an opportunity to express creative skills through writing and sketching of field observations. A variety of illustrated discovery and understanding nature activities are clearly described, including scavenger hunts, tracking animals and magnifying glass examinations, as well as diverse reflective activities for expressing thoughts and feelings through writings, poems, constellations and drawings. Five natural worlds -- woodlands, meadows, ponds & streams, seashores and twilight -- form the settings of these fascinating explorations. Information about safety factors, responsible investigating and a glossary are also provided in this all-encompassing, engaging nature guide and journal.

      Grades: 3rd & up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Amphibians

by Brian Cassie

PAPERBACK
Animals : Amphibians
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

        Grades: 3rd to 6th

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Birds

by Scott Weidensaul

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Insects

by Christina Wilsdon

PAPERBACK
Animals : Spineless Creatures
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Mammals

by John Grassy & Chuck I. Keene

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Reptiles

by John L. Behler

PAPERBACK
Animals : Reptiles
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Rocks and Minerals

by Edward R. Ricciuti and Margaret W. Carruthers

PAPERBACK
Field Guides & Activity Books

Young geologists can explore rocks and minerals with this field guide that provides information about their identification, classification, collection and geological history. Stunning, detailed color photographs as well as a reference section which includes a glossary, a table of minerals and resources for further study will provide children over eight as well as adults with a valuable introduction to the world of rocks and minerals.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Trees

by Brian Cassie and Marjorie Burns

PAPERBACK
Flora : Trees & Forests
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This excellent guide to the trees of North America includes vivid photographs of species found in the United States and Canada as well as clear, basic explanations of tree anatomy and photosynthesis.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Weather

by Jonathan D. Kahl

PAPERBACK
Field Guides & Activity Books

This book provides an excellent source of information for children over eight as well as adults for understanding meteorology, observing weather phenomena as well as learning about measurement devices to study weather. A reference, glossary and waterproof field spotting card are also included.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Wildflowers

by Susan Hood

PAPERBACK
Flora : Plants & Flowers
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Beautiful photographs of wildflowers complement this field guide offering descriptions of wildflower species found in various regions of North America. Information about physical characteristics for identification, floral anatomy, reproduction, range of habitats and endangered wildflower species, as well as a laminated spotter's guide, offer young naturalists a valuable resource for the study of wildflowers.

        Grades: 3rd & Up

  Natural Treasures Field Guide for Kids

by Elizabeth Biesiot

PAPERBACK
Animals : Various Classes
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  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

  The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth

by The EarthWorks Group and Sophie Javna

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Field Guides & Activity Books 

This is the revised edition of the EarthWorks Group's 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth that was originally published in 1990. John Javna and his daughter Sophie have updated this popular book for the internet savvy youth and have compiled a valuable source that provides a wealth of information for kids to deal with their carbon footprint. The book provides tons of facts, hundreds of internet links to environmental web sites, eco-experiments, quizzes and numerous activities for the home and school to help save the Earth.

Printed on recycled paper with soy inks.

To learn more, visit the EarthWorks Group's website: 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save The Earth

      Grades: 3rd & up

  Organic Gardening for Kids

by Elizabeth Scholl

HARDCOVER
Flora : Gardening
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Organic Gardening for Kids offers a wealth of information for young gardeners to create gardens to grow food and ornamentals without the use of harmful chemicals. Kids will learn what kind of plants can be grown based on soil and sun requirements, why to use compost to enrich the soil, and how to deal with pests and weeds. There are instructions to design and maintain all types of gardens -- perennial, vegetable, herb, butterfly and water -- as well as terrariums and container gardens. Craft projects include the building of a worm composter and a rain gauge.

To learn more about organic gardening, visit:
Rodale's Organic Gardening and Gardening with Kids
Lilly Dunn's Organic Gardening For Kids

Learn also about the Victory Garden Initiative to grow food.

See also:
Catherine Paladino's One Good Apple: Growing Our Food for the Sake of the Earth
Laurie Carlson's Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening
Lois Ehlert's Growing Vegetable Soup

      Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Owls: On Silent Wings (The Wonder Series)

by Ann C. Cooper

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Planet Patrol

by Marybeth Lorbiecki

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Introducing the basic concepts of ecology as well as current major environmental issues, Planet Patrol is a positive kids’ action guide to take care of the Earth. Readers can find out how to get involved in protecting the planet "from overuse and abuse" through lots of interesting facts and numerous action tips -- air testing, water mapping, soil examination, local species observation, household water flow charting, composting and everyday energy conservation. Along with explanations of issues, real-life examples are cited of kids involved in direct action -- through the United States, Canada and as far away as Kenya, Egypt and Indonesia -- who worked with teachers, parents, group leaders and scientists, participating in research and projects to restore habitats, save species and make this a cleaner planet.

In the first two sections, "Wildlife Watch" and "Eco Challenges", readers can learn about animals, plants, habitats and sustainable farming as well as the threats to the Earth from pollution, climate change and deforestation. The third section of the book, "Daily Defense," gives pointers how to take direct action to protect the planet through conservation, recycling and responsible choices in shopping. Numerous photos and cartoon drawings are interspersed amongst the informative text in magazine format of this inspiring and fascinating action guide for children to care for the Earth.

        Grades: 3rd to 7th

  Play Lightly on the Earth

by Jacqueline Horsfall

PAPERBACK
The Living Earth
Field Guides & Activity Books 

Written with a deep understanding of children and a love of nature, Jacqueline Horsfall's "Play Lightly on the Earth" provides a wealth of creative and intriguing nature activities to inspire children, ages 3 to 9, about the natural world. The book is divided into sections to "play lightly" -- in the plant world, among the trees, on the Earth, in the wildlife world, among the birds, in the human world, in the sky and all together as one world. Children can learn about seed dispersal and root systems, the value of dead trees as habitats and the layers comprising the Earth's crust. They are encouraged to observe and imitate patterns of animal movements, learn about the use of their own senses, explore patterns in the night sky and seek relationships within plant and animal life of specific environments. Each activity clearly outlines materials needed for each project, instructions for the activity as well as questions (and hints) to promote discussions with children. This book provides a valuable resource for parents and educators to instill the sense of wonder of nature that Rachel Carson encouraged adults to reveal to their children.

See also:
Joseph Cornell's Sharing Nature With Children

      Grades: Activities for Preschool to 4th

  Recycled Crafts Box

by Laura Martin

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Recycling & Composting
Field Guides and Activity Books 

Old sneakers, gift wrap, blue jeans, plastic bottles, grocery bags, metal cans, socks, yogurt cups -- items that often end up in landfills can be transformed into all kinds of new and imaginative creations. Besides describing 40 earth-friendly projects and activities using recycled materials, this activity book also provides an insight into the background, manufacture and recycling of paper, plastic, metal and fabric as well as suggesting ways to cut back on trash and to recycle. A "Trash Timeline" starting in the early 1800’s follows the invention of disposable products that have made life more convenient, but have also significantly increased the amount of trash generated. Sidebars mention artists that have used recycled materials to create works of art. Color photos, diagrams and step-by-step instructions are included for a variety of projects that include: "Boot-iful Shoe Garden" made from an old sneaker or shoe; "Fancy Foil Fish" mobile assembled out of aluminum pie pans; "Rag Coasters and Bowls" created out of old clothing and fabric; "Buzz the Bottle Bug," a plastic bottle critter; "Paper Bead Bangles" that are made from used gift wrap or old magazines; "Dancing Tin Can Man" created from cans and aluminum pie plates; and, "Shoe Box Treasure Chest" that is decorated with old trinkets, used gift wrap, scraps of colored paper and old greeting cards. This is a great resource to create treasures out of trash that are "fun, funny, exciting, and even beautiful," while also learning how to protect the planet.

See also: Bobbe Needham's Ecology Crafts For Kids
Laura Martin's other activity book, Nature's Art Box: From t-shirts to twig baskets, 65 cool projects for crafty kids to make with natural materials you can find anywhere

      Grades: 1st to 7th

  Save the Earth Maze Book

by Roger Moreau

PAPERBACK
Environmental Themes : Pollution & Sustainability
Field Guide & Activity Books 

The text and illustrations of twenty-one challenging mazes present issues of wildlife conservation and environmental protection. Each of three sections -- oceans & streams, wildlife, and pollution -- presents varied topics of environmental problems which are explored in different scenarios of mazes where one is challenged to save a dolphin entangled in nets, protect elephants & rhinos being hunted by poachers or stop pollution by industrial waste. This activity book provides a stimulating experience for children to learn about environmental issues as they tackle the mazes.

      Grades: 3rd to 5th

  Sea Otter River Otter

by Sandra Chisholm Robinson

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

      Grades: 1st to 6th

  Tales Alive! Bird Tales From Near & Far

by Susan Milord

PAPERBACK
Animals : Birds
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

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

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  Tales of the Shimmering Sky

by Susan Milord

PAPERBACK
Field Guides & Activity Books
Multicultural 

Ten global folktales about the sky are accompanied by activities for children to explore imaginatively and scientifically the mysteries of day and night, sun, moon, stars, weather and seasons. This journey takes children through the ethnic tales of: The Division of Day and Night (Creek, Native America), The Twelve Months (Slovakia), The Hare in the Moon (India), The Moon in Safekeeping (Jewish Faith, Europe), Great Bear (Micmac, Canada), The Boastful Star (Polynesia), The Whirling Wind (Mexico), The Return of the Clouds (Zuni, Native America), After the Rain (Kenya) and The Theft of Thor's Hammer (Scandinavia). Each of the tales is complemented by intriguing activities to explore the science of the sky as well as arts and crafts, cultures, history, cooking, games and math.

      Grades: Preschool & up

  Wildlife Watching with Charles Eastman

by Michael Elsohn Ross

HARDCOVER
Naturalists & Their Work
Field Guides & Activity Books 

The engrossing biography of Charles Eastman, as part of the Naturalist's Apprentice Series, describes the difficulties that Eastman faced growing up as a Native American, later studying at Dartmouth and Boston University School of Medicine, and then working as a physician and social worker on reservations. His writings, published at the turn of the century and translated into other languages, offer not only a unique perspective of Native American life, but also unveil the respect that the Sioux held for the natural world and their knowledge of nature, in particular of wildlife watching. Insets throughout the book offer information for young naturalists about tracking and observing animals, as well as attracting wildlife to one's community.

      Grades: 3rd to 6th

  The Wonder of Wolves (The Wonder Series)

by Sandra Chisholm Robinson

PAPERBACK
Animals : Mammals
Field Guides & Activity Books 

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

      Grades: 3rd to 6th