Book Recommendations: Nature Reads

Last month’s Book Scouts was cancelled due to COVID-19, but I still dutifully composed my list of recommended reads and put up a display (a whole two days before our library closed indefinitely). Luckily, many families came in to stock up and the display emptied pretty quickly.

This month, I’m sharing those titles with you as we look forward to warmer months, sunnier times, and spending more time in the outdoors. These books explore animals, nature, and environmental themes, particularly, in some cases, how humans can affect the order of the natural world.

At the end of the book list, you’ll find a list of some of my favorite nature-based activities for children that you can easily do at home with materials on hand. They are fairly open-ended and allow for lots of creativity and exploration. Feel free to share with any of your families who may be looking for outdoor activities to do during social distancing.

Chapter Books & Graphic Novels

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Stand on the Sky by Erin Bow
The Wild Robot (series) by Peter Brown
Poppy & Sam (series) by Cathon
Moo by Sharon Creech
Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech
Nest by Esther Ehrlich
Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
Heartwood Hotel (series) by Kallie George
Out of My Shell by Jenny Goebel
Missing Mike by Shari Green
Saving Marty by Paul Griffin
The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget
One Amazing Elephant by Linda Oatman High
Nature Girl by Jane Kelley
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig. King
Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis
Chirp by Kate Messner
The Whiskers Sisters (series) by MissPATY
Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Appleblossum the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Birdie by Eileen Spinelli
Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

Picture Books & Non-Fiction

Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
Superlative Birds by Leslie Bulion
Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox
Raccoon Rescue by Kama Einhorn
Welcome, Wombat by Kama Einhorn
The True Story of Jadav Payeng: The Boy Who Grew a Forest by Sophia Gholz
The Night Flower by Lara Hawthorne
Earth Hour: A Lights-Out Event for Our Planet by Nanette Heffernan
The Squirrels’ Busy Year by Martin Jenkins
Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang
Thirsty, Thirsty Elephants by Sandra Markle
Ninita’s Big World: The True Story of a Deaf Pygmy Marmoset by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Saving Fiona: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Baby Hippo by Thane Maynard
The Seal Garden by Ian McAllister & Nicholas Read
The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs by Kate Messner
The Crab Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta
Who Will Plant a Tree? By Jerry Pallotta
Stretch to the Sun: From a Tiny Sprout to the Tallest Tree on Earth by Carrie A. Pearson
Fighting for the Forest: Boys of the Civilian Conservation Corps by P. O’Connell Pearson
Maria Sibylla Merian: Artist, Scientist, Adventurer by Sarah B. Pomeroy & Jeyaraney Kathirithamby
Beyond Words: What Elephants and Whales Think and Feel by Carl Safina
Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson
Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story by Suzanne Slade
If I Were a Park Ranger by Catherine Stier
Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree by Sally M. Walker
Can You Hear the Trees Talking?: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest by Peter Wohlleben

Easy Extension Activities

Build a Bird Nest

Make a Newspaper Planter

Create Nature Pictures

Make Natural Paintbrushes

Leaf Rubbings

Sun Prints

Make a Human-Sized Bird Nest

Backyard Scavenger Hunt

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