Book Shelf :: The Great Outdoors

It’s a great big world out there: read about it!

B is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet

By Ruth Strother, Illustrated by Bob Marstall
Sleeping Bear Press, $16.95

Discover more about our Earth, one letter at a time. Ruth Strother provides a wealth of information about everything from earthquakes to rainforests, while still keeping it straightforward, and illustrator Bob Marstall blends science with art beautifully.

Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival

By Denise Long
Chicago Review Press, $12.95

Have you taken your 10-year-old camping, only to have him be enthralled by his Gameboy and not the spectacular display of nature around you? This fun but practical guide encourages kids to get out and explore the great outdoors and teaches them how to survive if they get lost without a GPS, cell phone, or even immediate shelter.

Track that Scat!

By Lisa Morlock,
Illustrated by Carrie Ann Bradshaw
Sleeping Bear Press, $15.95

Catchy rhymes, beautiful illustrations, and informative profiles on all sorts of animals make you forget that this book is all about, well, poop. Your young explorers will want to decipher what critter made which tracks they come across in mud or snow, too.

Purple Little Bird

By Greg Foley
Harper Collins Publishers, $14.99

Preschoolers will enjoy Greg Foley’s fun and colorful illustrations as they join Purple Little Bird on his search all around the world for the perfect home, only to realize that he already has it.

Hannah and the Talking Tree

By Elke Weiss
Free Focus Publishing, $16.95

Hannah loves exploring nature and talking to all the plants and animals, so when the tree sees the same bulldozer coming that took away all of his friends, he tells Hannah to go to the big city and get the mayor to save it. Kids will love the vivid illustrations, and parents will appreciate the book’s message of sustainability.

Arthur Turns Green

By Marc Brown
Little, Brown and Company, $16.99

After nearly a decade of vacation, Arthur returns for another adventure, this time making the world greener one simple action at a time. Your kids may be inspired to plant a tree, bike to school, and unplug cell phone chargers not in use after reading about the beloved eight-year-old aardvark doing the same. Sustainability is everywhere in this book, including the pages themselves, which are printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink.

Charting the World: Geography and Maps from Cave Paintings to GPS

By Richard Panchyk
Chicago Review Press, $18.95

Who said learning isn’t fun? Making a 3D model of a contour map, testing out Francis Guthrie’s Four-Color theorem, and creating your own treasure map are just a few of the activities described in this book. Kids (and parents) will learn a little bit about how politics and technology have influenced geography, too.

About Hummingbirds: A Guide for Children

By Cathryn Sill, Illustrated by John Sill
Peachtree Publishers, $16.95

Did you know hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly in all directions, even upside down? Written by a former elementary school teacher, the text uses easy-to-understand language that’s packed with facts, and the illustrations are beautiful as well as technically accurate.