I’m in love! I’m in love! After reading LOTS (and I mean lots) of books to weed out the best of the best to include in our NaturExplorers units, I have to tell you that it’s very hard to find books that meet all my criteria:
- Living, interesting, inspirational
- Factual without being dry
- Don’t address millions of years
- Don’t address a “new age”, “mother earth” philosophy
For some reason, most nature-related books are very drab or quite silly. Not so with the books I’ve had the pleasure of reading from Dawn Publications! They put out fantastic living literature with a passion for nature that meets (and maybe exceeds) the passion Melissa and I have for it.
I can’t attest to whether or not every single book Dawn Publications produces is free of millions of years or mother earth philosophy, but the books I’ve chosen to highlight here are nothing but joyful and inspiring! With each one I’ve read, my children and I have been ready to jump off the couch and head outdoors to explore!
I’d love to introduce you to some of my favorites from Dawn Publications. Enjoy!
(Click on the graphics to learn more about each book.)
These are delightful, cumulative, rhyming books for the 4-10 crowd. They are wonderful examples of inquiry and discovery. I especially like that the first two titles have boys as main characters. Believe it or not, it’s hard to find nature-related books with male main characters.
These engaging books for the 4-10 crowd take you on a journey of the life of an acorn, a honey bee and a dandelion. Through a storyline, the books teach you about entire life cycles. Like ALL the Dawn Publications books I’ll mention today, the illustrations are just as good as the text!
If I had to pick a favorite, this would be it! Eliza’s nature-loving aunt helps her niece and some friends catch the excitement of small miracles at the pond. It’s a great book to show you how one person’s enthusiasm for nature can be infectious! I’d recommend it for children 5-12.
The first two books in this section are best suited for 5-12 year-old children. Enjoy The Web at Dragonfly Pond as a father gently teaches his son about food webs as they spend time together fishing on the pond. Salamander Rain is written from the perspective of pre-teens/teens keeping a nature journal at the explore the ponds and lakes in their area. River Song comes with a CD to sing-along with the text of this book about the ways of water flowing from tiny brooks into streams and rivers and finally the ocean. It’s probably most appropriate for children 4-10.
The final two books I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing are best suited for children ages 5-12. A Drop Around the World takes you on a fictional journey around the world describing how the cycle of water means the same rain has probably touched the entire earth at some point. Through rhyming text, people and places of the world, as well as the water cycle, are introduced. Discover the Seasons gives you hints about a some things you might look for during each season, followed by a few seasonal nature activity ideas and recipes.
Many of these books are now noted as featured literature suggestions in appropriate NaturExplorers units, too. I have to admit that I don’t mind this kind of research and will gladly pour over more books like these in hopes to find more treasures for our units!