Monday, July 16, 2012

Nature Books

I have been on kind of a nature and animal kick with my picture book selections lately with the girls.  Here are some of our favorites. 

Guess What Is Growing Inside This Egg by Mia Posada shows a close up drawing of an egg with some clues (in the text and the picture) which hint at what animal is in the egg.  The next page shows the complete drawing and explains what the animal is.  This was a fun riddle-like book.  Of course after the second time we read it, the girls knew what all the animals were, so the mystery element was removed. 

But, it is a good reminder of some animals that are born from eggs (penguins, ducks, turtles, crocodiles, spiders).  The girls were shocked at how small spider eggs are and how many are contained in the egg sac.  I was shocked that octopi were born from transparent eggs.  I had no idea, but I guess they qualify as "fish" and hence are born out of eggs.

This is a fun picture book which was also riddle-like.  Lots and Lots of Zebra Stripes by Steven Swinburne is all pictures and shows up close (very close) pictures of various patterns in plants and animals.  There is very little text.  When we got to the giraffe page, Catherine ran to the bathroom and got one of her band-aids which was a giraffe pattern (we go through tons of band-aids and have all kinds of colors and designs).  She unwrapped the band-aid and put it next to the picture in the book.  It was a perfect match!

We love the Bear Snores On, the Bear Feels Scared, and all of those books in that series.  I was delighted to find more books by that same author (although not in that series).  Karma Wilson's A Frog in the Bog is a great, sing-songy book about a frog's diet of bugs with lots of rhyming words.  The frog eats one tick, then two fleas, etc.  Half way through the first reading of the book, Catherine said to me "this is a counting book."  Sabrina is learning about rhyming words and this book provides lots of opportunities for that lesson.  

This is another book by Karma Wilson.  It includes some lyrical sections, which the girls loved.  They always want me to "sing" those sections instead of read them.  When Catherine reads the book out loud, she also sings those sections.  This book is set in Antarctica and is about a baby penguin named Pip who gets separated from his parents.  He encounters a bunch of other Antarctic animals and asks them where "home" is.  Each of the animals describe their own home, and not the penguin's home.  Eventually Pip finds his parents and all is well. Great illustrations and a good review of the Antarctic habitat.

I am a bit ashamed to admit how much I learned from Those Amazing Ants by Patricia Brennan Demuth.  I had no idea that male ants did nothing but mate with the queen ant, and then die.  I had no idea that there was a "sick room" in every ant hill for injured ants.  That the ants left little drops of scent when they found food so their fellow ants could follow the trail to food.  I love how much I am learning with the girls!

This book is written in a basic enough level that children can easily understand it, yet I found it fascinating too.  The illustrations are relatively realistic, not at all cartoonish.

I hope you are able to obtain & enjoy some of these books!

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