A diverse group of kids think of all the great things they’d do if they were park rangers in this picture book that takes readers across the United States for peeks at the beautiful national parks, while shedding some light on a career that you don’t often hear people talk about: the national park ranger. Catherine Stier and Patrick Corrigan provide kids with a history of the profession, and portraits of prominent figures in national parks history: Stephen Mather and Horace Albright, the founding directors of the National Park Service; Theodore Roosevelt, who created programs to protect land and wildlife, and Gerard Baker, a superintendent who brought Native American heritage to the parks, to name a few. Each child envisions himself or herself in ranger uniform, working across different locales; from desert to forest, from volcanoes to caves, battlefields and monuments; they help campers, they protect nature and wildlife, and they report emergencies that threaten our national parks.
Each spread is labeled, introducing readers to a different park. The group of rangers is racially diverse, as are the park visitors; the artwork is colorful and earth-toned, showing lush greens, calming blues, and warm browns of the lands. Deserts like Death Valley National Park get a beautiful orange and violet spreads. The author talks about her love of national parks, and how national parks contribute to STEM and art learning; there is also a note on how to become a park ranger, complete with a link to the National Park Service for becoming a Junior Ranger.
This is a fun addition to career sections, and an overall good book to introduce when talking about nature, environmentalism, and preservation. There are free, downloadable activity pages available, too! For kids interested in learning more about the US National Parks, recommend Ranger Rick’s Travels: National Parks.