Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth


by Nicola Davies


A tall picturebook with lots of things to look at, this book “Many” celebrates the incredible diversity of life on earth and also reminds us to care for the creatures on it! Well-researched and charmingly illustrated, kids will love to see the latest species that have been discovered, as well as the species that are now extinct. They will learn a little about the difficulty in identifying species as well as how plant and animal species rely on one another. Although the book doesn’t say it, every page shouts, “Truly, we have a great Creator!” (Not too long to read in one sitting.)



Available from public libraries

Ages 4-10


Reviewer: Doreen



Splash, Anna Hibiscus


by Atinuke and Lauren Tobia

splash 2

A fun book about having no one to play with. When Anna sets out to play by herself, she has so much fun that the others join her, after all. And for kids who think Africa remains an undeveloped continent, this book is a great eye-opener, especially when read with the “Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus,” a fun look at what happens when Anna’s mom has twins.


Two books which open the doors to an African family home on the coast, in the city.

double 2

Ages 2-5

Picture book


Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

double 4

Julie of the Wolves


by Jean Craighead George

I don’t know about the unabridged version of the chapter book “Julie of the Wolves,” but this one hour audio version gave a brief but eye-opening look into the changing lifestyle of the Inuit in North America. It also gives you a close look at wolf behaviour, the northern landscape, and traditional Inuit ways of living off the land. Listening with an adult would be helpful as children would benefit from a discussion of why Julie doesn’t stay with her long-lost father, in the end.

Ages 8-14


Natural History

Available from public libraries


Reviewer:  Doreen

My very First Our World Book 

Our World

by Usborne

For when you are eager to begin formally teaching your three year old about the world! Covers mountains, rivers, deserts, etc, with lots of things to point out and talk about on each page. A medium sized picture book that will appeal greatly to some kids, and not at all to others…

Our World 2

Ages 2-8

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen


Our World 3

Come Over to My House

come over to.jpg

By Dr. Seuss

Illustrated by Katie Kath

This is a fun, easy reader that takes you to dozens of countries around the world, emphasizing different lifestyles but the universal welcome of an open door and an invitation to “Come over to my house! Come over and play.”

For kids who have been studying geography, an enjoyable challenge is to identify every country mentioned, based on the illustrations.

come over 2.jpg

Ages 2-8

Available from public libraries


Reviewer: Doreen

come over 1.jpg

In a Cloud of Dust

in a cloud.jpg

By Alma Fullerton

in a 3.jpg    in a 2.jpg

This story of a girl and her school friends’ whose trip home from school is made shorter by use of the bicycle lending library, takes place in Tanzania. Nicely illustrated. Fullerton’s books gives a taste of children like us, living far different lives around the world.

in a 4.jpg

A Good Trade   takes place in Uganda  Nicely illustrated.

a good trade.jpg

Community Soup   takes place in Kenya  Nicely illustrated.


When the Rain Comes     takes place in Sri Lanka

when the rain comes.jpg


Ages 4-10

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

Waiting for High Tide

waiting for

By Nikki McClure

You could give your kids or students a lesson on tides and clams, herons and barnacles….or you could read Waiting for High Tide. It was the illustrations and the cover that made me pick this book up. Beautifully done in white, black, and pale blue, the bold illustrations are reminiscent of wood-burning relief illustrations.

A simple story about building a raft with Mom, Dad, and Grandma one summer day, the facts in the book are so real you know the author must have almost lived them…which he did.

waiting for 2



Available from public libraries


Reviewer: Doreen

waiting for 3.jpg




The Snail and the Whale

the snail.jpg

By Julia Donaldson

snail 6

I really loved this book :). It’s a board book but not just for babies. Toddlers and preschoolers and early elementary will enjoy: “This is a tale of a tiny snail…this is the whale who came one night…” With a real adventure and rescue, rhythmic language, and well-done illustrations (although they are a little spoiled by the comic-strip eyeballs), it is sure to be enjoyed a few times over. Includes an audio version with background music, that is wonderfully read.

the snail 5

A long picture board book, with audio CD

Ages 3-8

Available from public libraries

the snail 3


Reviewer: Doreen

the snail 4




By Nick Dowson

A nonfiction picture book that takes children right into the wild with big, realistic illustrations and a brief telling of life with a mother tiger and her cubs. Although geared for older children, my two year old listened to this CD over and over again, cued by the page signals on track 2 for when to turn the page.

Also recommended, from the same “Read and Wonder” series:

Gentle Giant Octopus, by Karen Wallace


Walk With a Wolf, by Janni Howker

walk with a wolf


Picturebook with Audio CD

Ages 2-12

Available from public libraries


Reviewer: Doreen