Posted in Early Reader, Non-Fiction, picture books, Preschool Reads

Natural world nonfiction for young learners: See to Learn: Forest

See to Learn: Forest, by Kate Moss Gamblin/Illustrated by, Karen Patkau, (March 2019, Groundwood Books), $16.95, ISBN: 9781554988792

Ages 4-7

This first book in a new nonfiction picture book series encourages little learners to look at a location – in this case, a forest – and really see: see different footprints that travel the forest floor; the different leaves carpeting the ground; moss covering a stump. Forest encourages readers to think: is that moss older than your grandparents? What changes do seasons bring with them? What happens during the passage of day to night?

The quiet text promotes introspection, curiosity, and presence, and the interrelationships between nature – trees are referred to as our “cousins” – and our planet. Everything here exists for readers to observe and ponder, and Forest encourages them to think of nature, the world, and their place in it.

This is a great way to talk about the natural world and basic concepts with kids: talk about colors, talk about different functions, talk about different stages of life, whether you’re a human grandparent or a young caterpillar. We all age; we all exist; we all interact with the natural world. Let kids see themselves in nature, and they’ll respect it and care for it. Further reading provides additional resources for younger and middle grade readers. An author’s note explains the rationale and thinking points for the series.

I’m looking forward to more books in this series. See to Learn: Forest is a great addition to primary and elementary science collections and programming. This will fit nicely with Kate Messner’s nonfiction books, Over and Under the Snow, Over and Under the Pond, and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, for elementary readers; for primary readers, you can’t miss with Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s books, Green and Blue; and Denise Fleming’s In the Tall, Tall Grass, and In the Small, Small Pond.