I recently had the wonderful opportunity to review the Smithsonian’s Backyard and Oceanic Collections. This wasn’t the first time I’d enjoyed picture books from the Smithsonian Institution as many of them had previously visited our home from the library. Whether reading titles to tie into nature study topics, or just wanting well-written books full of facts about a vast array of animals and insects, I highly recommend any from these two collections!
That being said, I’m rather sure the Smithsonian Institution doesn’t always hold to a creation-based philosophy. I’m not recommending every product they might sell, but I can safely and happily recommend each of the books listed below.
Written for children ages 4-10, each book focuses on a day in the life of a particular animal or insect. There’s a hint of fiction to the stories as you walk (or swim) alongside the critter through his or her day, but the books are also bursting with factual information tied into the storyline. Bright, colorful illustrations aren’t perfectly life-like, but they’re very close.
My children and I enjoyed each and every one. A few of them even came with read-along CD’s, which made my preschooler extra happy! We’ve also added appropriate titles to some of our NaturExplorers recommended literature lists. Click on the links below to read more about each of the books I reviewed. You might note that other titles in the series are available on the Soundprints website.
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From the Backyard Collection:
- Alligator at Saw Grass Road
- Badger at Sandy Ridge Road
- Black Bear Cub at Sweet Berry Trail
- Box Turtle at Silver Pond Lane
- Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle
- Dear Mouse at Old Farm Road
- Firefly at Stonybrook Farm
- Groundhog at Evergreen Road
- Ladybug at Orchard Avenue
- Mallard Duck at Meadow View Pond
- Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way
From the Oceanic Collection: