Over and Under the Pond

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By Kate Messner

A wonderful little jaunt across the pond in a boat with mom leads to all kinds of discoveries, comparing what is happening above the surface of the water to what is happening below. The author keeps the text simple but is not afraid to use specific terms and even lyrical language to convey a sense of beauty. Very well-told with lovely illustrations. A glossary at the back gives another paragraph of information for each creature introduced in the story.

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Picturebook

Ages 3-10

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

 

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Turtle in the Sea

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By Jim Arnosky

A great introduction to sea turtles, this story tells of a momma turtle, old and battle-scarred who is laying her eggs in the sand. It retraces her early days to how she contracted her various scrapes and scars, bringing awareness to the reader of a dangerous under-water life.

Short Picturebook

Ages 3-8

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

 

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes

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by Nicola Davies

Davies excels at taking tiny parts of our world and making them relevant and understandable to children. Neat illustrations with a retro look help make the scientific concepts relevant and interesting.

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Big picturebook (not very long)

Available from public libraries

Ages 5-12

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

 

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Whose Nest is This?

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By Heidi Bee Roemer

With beautiful, well-detailed illustrations, this picturebook brings to life all kinds of creatures’ nests, not just birds. The object of the book is not to cover many nests, but rather, a wide variety of nests, which it does well. Truly this book is a tribute to our great Creator. The text on each page is simple, but more details are included on the final page for the eager learner.

Picturebook

Available from public libraries

Ages 4-10

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

In the Middle of the Night

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By Aileen Fisher

When a girl doesn’t want a puppy or toy or any other traditional birthday gift, but only wants to go out for a walk in the middle of the night, the result is this poetic picture book with lovely retro illustrations. Join the girl and her dad as they discover the mystery and beauty of the night with small, fascinating, middle-of-the-night nature discoveries—the girl’s best birthday present ever.

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Picturebook

Ages 3-10

Available second-hand

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth

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by Nicola Davies

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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.)

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Picturebook

Available from public libraries

Ages 4-10

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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Julie of the Wolves

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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

Fiction

Natural History

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer:  Doreen

Into the Woods: John James Audubon Lives His Dream

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by Robert Burleigh

A poetic look at the work of John Audubon. If you know nothing of him, it would be better to start with the brief autobiographical note at the end of the story. Told in rhyme as a letter to his father, the book highlights his love for birds and nature. True (but brief ) excerpts from his journal are what make the book worth reading. Illustrations are well done.

Ages 6-12

Picture book

Available from public libraries

Recommended

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

 

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Outside your Window: A First Book of Nature

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by Nicola Davies

Another book for when you are eager to begin sharing the great world outside with your three year old, but in a more gentle, poetic way. Again, each page spread covers a different topic, but with more whimsical artwork than the Usborne My Very First Our World book. A very thick, full-colour, picture book.

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Ages 2-8

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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