Posted in Non-Fiction

Celebrate Earth Day! Books about our big, blue dot.

Families on Foot: Urban Hikes to Backyard Treks and National Park Adventures, by Jennifer Pharr Davis & Brew Davis, (March 2017, Falcon Guides), $17.95, ISBN: 978-1-4930-2671-5

I’ve been waiting to talk this one up! Published in partnership with the American Hiking Society, this is the book you want if you want to start – or already are a fan of – hiking and taking nature walks with your family. You’ll find tips and information on hiking etiquette, packing, safety, urgent matters like diaper blowouts, using technology like smartphone apps and GPS, activities to keep all ages engaged, and 9 tasty trail mix recipes that are nature-friendly. There’s information on hiking with special needs children and seniors; comprehensive online resources, and a state-by-state directory of family-friendly trails. Full color photos and first-hand stories from the trail will have you packing a bag and getting ready to hit the road.

 

Ranger Rick’s Travels: National Parks!, by Stacy Tornio & Ken Keffer,
(Aug. 2016, Muddy Boots), $14.95, ISBN: 9781630762308

Now that you’re ready to hit the trail, Ranger Rick’s Travels: National Parks will tell you where to go! Ranger Rick and his friend Deputy Scarlett take readers on a scenic tour of America’s 58 national parks, which profiles including stunning photos and facts, top nature picks on plants and animals to look for, and a bucket list for each park.

 

Change the World Before Bedtime, a collaboration by Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good (Schiffer Publishing, 2012). $16.99, ISBN: 978-0764342387

I tend to think of Change the World Before Bedtime as an accompanying read to 10 Things I Can Do To Help My World, by Melanie Walsh. The story tells kids that anyone, big or small, can do things to bring about positive change. Over the course of one day, a group of children make positive decisions and take action to brighten the world around them, tying on their “hero capes” and eating a healthy breakfast, spending the day doing random good deeds, like picking up litter, visiting a sick friends or family, donating clothing, toys, and food to the needy, and keeping a positive mindset.

 

The Earth Book, by Todd Parr, (March 2010, Hachette), $11.99, ISBN: 9780316042659

Who does social justice better than Todd Parr? The Earth Book – printed with recycled material and nontoxic ink – empowers kids to work together to make the Earth feel good, from planting a tree to reducing, reusing, and recycling. The Earth Book is great for toddlers and preschoolers, who may otherwise feel left out of the action.

 

These Bees Count!, by Alison Ashley Formento/Illustrated by Sarah Snow,
(March 2012, Albert Whitman), $16.99, ISBN: 9780807578681

I love this book and its companions, These Seas Count!, These Rocks Count!, and This Tree Counts! In These Bees Count, kids learn the importance of bees to our society by helping pollinate flowers and producing honey. There’s a counting aspect to the books, too, making it accessible to preschoolers and possibly younger; introduce the counting concepts and talk about the good things bees do.

 

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth, by Mary McKenna Siddals/Illustrated by Ashley Wolff,
(March 2010, Tricycle Press), $15.99, ISBN: 9781582463162

What’s composting? Glad you asked! This A -to-Z explains composting, how to make a compost pile: what to throw in? what to keep out?, and how composting helps keep gardens growing healthy and happy. It’s great for toddlers and preschoolers who can learn their ABCs through gardening, after they practice their 123s with the bees (above)!

Gabby and Grandma Go Green, by Monica Wellington,
(March 2011, Dutton), $10.99 via Kindle, ASIN: B01F2IJRXA

If you can buy this through a third-party seller or see it in a bookstore, it’s worth it to make the purchase. I really hope this one comes back into print, because I love this story. It’s a good intergenerational story, with young Gabby and her Grandma going green by sewing their own cloth bags, buying veggies at the Farmer’s Market, and recycling their bottles. I love this book and use my battered old copy during my Earth Day storytimes.

These are just a few great Earth Day titles. For today, go out and enjoy the planet! Tomorrow, go to your library or bookstore and check a few out for yourself and your family.

Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction, Tween Reads

Road Trip! Ranger Rick’s Travels: National Parks

ranger-rickRanger Rick’s Travels: National Parks!, by Stacy Tornio & Ken Keffer, (Aug. 2016, Muddy Boots), $14.95, ISBN: 9781630762308

Recommended for ages 8+

In a fabulous love letter to the National Parks of America and the National Park Service, the folks at Ranger Rick Magazine – remember them? They have books now! – put together this beautiful book, featuring each one of the 58 National parks across America. Ranger Rick and his best friend, Deputy Scarlett, appear throughout the book to join readers on a countrywide sightseeing tour.

The book opens with a map of the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska, and the US Virgin Islands. Each park is numbered and corresponds to the Table of Contents, which organizes the parks into 9 groups: Eastern Parks, Midwest Parks, Mountain West Parks, Southwest Parks, Utah and Nevada Parks, California Parks, Pacific Northwest Parks, Pacific Island Parks, and Alaska Parks. Each park’s profile includes stunning photos and facts that will make readers want to pack their bags and take a month or six off from work or school!

rangerrick-rickandscarlettEach park feature provides information in quick bites that read like a tourism guide. About the Park provides a quick overview and basic facts; What to Watch For are Ranger Rick’s top nature picks on what plants and animals to keep an eye out for. Ranger Rick’s Top Things To Do is a bucket list for each park – don’t leave without seeing Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park, naturally, but also make sure not to miss out on a hike through the park! Finally, Ranger Rick’s Amazing Facts are the “WOW” factor for each park: did you know that you can only reach Northwest Alaska’s Kobuk Valley National Park by foot, dogsled, snowmobile, or air taxi? Now you do!

This is a great book to have in collections and to have available when you’re talking about the U.S. There’s 100 years of history in the National Parks Service, but there are far more years in the history of these parks; there are petrified trees, dinosaur footprints and bones, and formations carved out of rock thousands of years ago, here for all to enjoy. Families planning a vacation or two can use this as a jumping off point (I know I am).

Don’t forget to head to the Ranger Rick website, where kids can read more about nature and the environment, play some games, and get craft ideas. Educator resources included lesson plans and webinars.

Ranger Rick and Scarlett image courtesy of Photobucket.