Mountain Press Review

Mountain Press kindly sent us two books to review that we’d like you to know about!

The Charcoal Forest by Beth A. Peluso is an informational picture book about how forest fires actually help plants and animals in some instances. Each two-page spread teaches you about a particular animal or plant and how it benefits from fire.

Written for children 3rd grade an older, the information is very thorough (but not overwhelming.) Full-color, life-like illustrations perfectly compliment the text, while frequent diagrams put certain information into perspective for your child.

It’s not a book to sit and read in one session since it’s so meaty and covers twenty different plants and animals. In my home, I used it as a resource book when we were learning about forest fires, then as a research source when my daughter wrote a paper on the topic. (There’s a follow-up section to the book that offers additional information about each plant and animals, too!)

Forest fires is one of the suggested research topics in the Constant Conifers NaturExplorers study. Since this book fits that topic so well, it’s been added to our list of suggested literature!

You Can Be a Nature Detective by Peggy Kochanoff is another book that fits in perfectly with one of our NaturExplorers units. Animal Signs encourages detective work, which is exactly what this book encourages!

The first page begins, “Hmmm…There’s spit all over the grass. Who could’ve done it? Let look closely and find out.” On the adjacent page, a clump of flowers with spit in the leaves is illustrated. Upon turning the page, your child finds out about the spittlebug. A magnified illustration with information about the life cycle of the spittlebug solves the mystery of the spit!

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