Fantastic Nature Stories (part 1)

Over the last couple of months, I've started sharing themed reading lists on a variety of topics.

This time, though, I wanted to share some of our favorites. Personally I love seeing what other parents are reading to their kids! (Usually, I have to go add those books to my library list. My list of holds has gotten ridiculously long recently...but that's hardly a problem, right?)

So, here are six of our favorite library finds from the past month or so. Feel free to share your own favorite in the comments below!

  • Snow Leopard: Ghost of the Mountain, by Justin Anderson, illustrated by Patrick Benson – a simple, beautiful book about watching for snow leopards high up in the mountains.
  • My Happy Year, by E. Bluebird, by Paul Meisel – a funny tale of a bluebird’s year, told as a series of diary entries. I also highly recommend Meisel’s My Awesome Summer, by P. Mantis.
  • High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs, by Lisa Kahn Schnell, illustrated by Alan Marks – a fascinating introduction to an ancient and not-terribly-well-known invertebrate.
  • Deep in the Swamp, by Donna M. Bateman, illustrated by Brian Lies – the alligator and snakes version of Over in the Meadow! We got the version that comes with a CD, and the kids enjoyed listening to it a ton.
  • Sea Bear: a Journey for Survival, by Lindsay Moore – the life of a polar bear through the year. This doesn’t address the issues polar bears face with a shrinking ice pack, but it does show how dangerous it could be for a bear to be caught too far from shore when the ice melts in the spring.
  • A Beach Tail, by Karen Lynn Williams, illustrated by Floyd Cooper – the other books on this list are mostly informational fiction. This one more just a fun story about a kid playing on a beach after his father warns him not to leave his drawing of a lion behind.

Looking for a bit more to add to your reading time? Try an art challenge!

Art Challenge:

  • Design or draw a home for one of the animals in the stories above! Build a nest for a bluebird or an alligator, turn a box into a cave for a snow leopard, or create a cardboard and paper mâché iceberg for a polar bear to rest on.
  • Write an E. Bluebird-style diary for your day--make it a full cycle like the bluebird's story, from waking up one morning to waking up the next morning!
  • Find a patch of dirt or sand and draw your own picture in it. If you can't go outside, you could use a tray a thin layer of flour, or even a piece of play dough rolled out flat.
  • Make up a story about watching for an animal in your own neighborhood. Pick one that you see occasionally, watch for it, and then keep track of what it does. Draw a picture of it to go with your story.

Be creative, and feel free to tag me on social media if you share a picture of your design. I’d love to see what you come up with!