Need a few stocking stuffers or a winter gift for the child in your life? Here's a few that will introduce them to the wonderful world of ecosystems and the study of the environment. Fun and captivating and full of activities with easy to find materials.
"What's Under a Log" by Anne Hunter is just the latest in an ecological series aimed at three to six year olds. The book is small and durable so it can easily go on a park or backyard log lifting expedition with you and your young ecologist. Pictures of what you may find under the log are beautiful. The descriptions are well written and understandable. Pick up the companion books "What's in a Meadow" and "What's in the Pond" for more adventures.
"The Color of Nature" by Pat Murphy and Paul Doherty changes the lenses through which we see nature by asking why is the water green here and blue there? Why is a lobster orange and a banana yellow? Open up the minds of the whole family with this magnificent book. The Photos are stunning and the descriptions can be eye opening.
"Kid's Spring Eco-Journal: With Nature activities for Exploring the Season" by Toni Albert and Margaret Brandt. This book is filled with environmental experiments and observation plans for the local environment. Good intro to scientific methods of inquiry for the third to sixth graders in the house. I won't lie I had fun with a few of these projects myself.
"Intertidal Wilderness-a Photographic Journey Through Pacific Coast Tide Pools" by Anne Rosenfeild will draw the little ones in with the magnificent pictures and hold them through the years with the detailed descriptions. It outlines tidal pool ecosystems from Baja California to Alaska along the Pacific coast. Easy to understand explanations of how competition, natural variation, predation and reproduction all interactively occur within the ecosystem. This is a book that can last a family years and years and years.
"Prairie Keepers" by Marcie Houle a young biologist in Oregon tells a heartfelt and compelling tale of the prairie environment in Oregon and how everyone from ranchers to environmentalists have to work to save it a thus save themselves. A tough and touching tale of life on the prairie and what it takes to survive for all who live there. Excellent for those tweenage girls who have a love for nature, science or both.