Saturday, June 11, 2011

Favorite Children's Nature Books

Summer is the time to spend more time outdoors and enjoying God's creation.

But for a family of book lovers, summer is also a time to read!

Here is just a few books that have inspired us to learn more about the world around us.

The Kids' Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences (Williamson Kids Can! Series)
The Kid's Nature Book by Susan Milord
This book has a project or something to learn for every day of the year. Wherever you live or whatever your interest, you will find something of interest in this book. Each day includes two or three paragraphs or information about some aspect of nature such as weather, birds, or plants. When I feel "stuck" on a nature project, this is the book I turn to.

A Kid's Spring Ecojournal
A Kid's Spring EcoJournal by Toni Albert
This was a find at the library (make that bookmobile!) We loved working through these pages. Each two page spread contains an excerpt from the author's nature journal, blank lines for journal-ling (which we didn't utilize since we were reading a library copy) and  a hands on project. Some of the projects were obvious such as catching fireflies. Others I had never thought of like make a mushroom spore print or attract night moths. We are read the Spring EcoJournal and are now on the  Summer EcoJournal. Since the author lives close to us in PA, the her seasons and observations coordinate closely to ours, though it would be a valuable book in other areas as well.

Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie
I bought this book just for me. Teachers and mothers need resources too! Keeping a Nature Journal is eye candy and a joy to flip through. The drawings and directions have inspired me to see nature in a new way. One of my goals for our family is to start nature journals this summer and I'm hoping this book leads the way!

As much as I've enjoyed these three books, none of them credit God as the Creator of all of life. I can ignore a little "millions of years" when the rest of the book is excellent but even better is a book that acknowledges God's wonderful design in creation. Pablo Yoder's books have filled this need remarkably.

The Work of Thy Fingers and My Father's World are both beautiful full-color hard cover books that share stories from nature. The author is a missionary in Central America and an avid lover of nature. While the animals and plants are completely different then the ones we will encounter when we take a nature walk, Pablo's curiosity of the world around him is contagious. The books share a good variety of plants, birds, insects, and animals. More then just an informational book, Pablo shares his personal experiences, such as swimming with a sea turtle, camping in the midst of a terrible mountain storm, and sharing a bathroom with a four legged creature. The book is enhanced by photography by Pablo's son. 

These are books that my children beg for "just one more chapter". My Father's World  is written for younger children, maybe elementary aged, and was perfect for our family, since even the parents enjoyed it. The Work of Thy Fingers is written at a little more advanced level. We still enjoyed the book but I think our children will get more out of it in years to come. If you are looking for interesting God-honoring nature stories, I recommend both these books.

Okay, your turn. What books inspire your nature study?


  1. I found your blog via a link from Just a Couple of Acres blog. I just made your zucchini brownies which are delicious.

    Thank you for these book reviews. I have 8 grand babies all 7 and under who all love nature. I'll be looking for these to share with them.

  2. Thank you for the nature book suggestions.
    We alos enjoy the magazine - Creation Illustrated - it has beautiful photographs and has nature inspired articles which contain biblical references and glorify God's creation.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  3. We are loving the Thornton W. Burgess books! Check out the bird book for children or The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad. Great, fun stories!

  4. thank you for sharing this list! im sure my kids would love to have this books. my kids loves books, especially those books that are about nature. i have searching for books about nature for my kids and its great that i have fount your article.. i would really love to buy one of this books for my kids for them to read and learn.. i have recently buy this book my kids really enjoy reading this and looking at the beautiful butterflies in it.. they are learning and at the same time they are having fun coloring the butterflies.. you should try to have one of this too.


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