Field Guides for Petite Naturalists

Recently the petite and I discovered these amazing books Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the Natural World and Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces  of Country Life by Julia Rothman with help from John Niekrasz (Storey Publishing, 2015 & 2011).

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My girls love all things nature and can often times be found outside playing in the mud, field or on a hunt for beetles and frogs.  They both have little notebooks with pencils that they take just about everywhere we go and add all of their field notes and of course discoveries.  The amount of ‘why’ questions that they can cover in a day would make a graduate level professor weak in the knees.

Lets first discuss Farm Anatomy, which was Julia’s first book in this duo.  There are seven chapters;

  1. Breaking Ground (minerals, soil, predicting weather)
  2.  Raised in a Barn (barn styles, barn birds, farm buildings)
  3. Tools of the Trade (tractors, how to plant a field, in the toolshed)
  4. Plant a Seed (Tomato varieties, vegetable anatomy)
  5. Separating the Sheep from the Goats (Animal terms, breeds of animals, shearing sheep, Anatomy of a beehive)
  6. Country Wining and Dining (old fashion country kitchen, making cheese, butchering)
  7. Spinning a Yarn (natural dyes, flower press making, making candles).

These books are the perfect blend of science and art, you learn all about the different types of soil and how to rotate crops to different types of barn design and construction.  You’re informed about different types of farm equipment with interesting facts as well as lovely illustrations to go along with each topic.  For the Plant a Seed section you learn about when and what to plant, this book is a perfect primer.

The chapter that the petites found to be filled with the most interesting facts is Separating the Sheep from the Goats, in this post Rothman’s details all the different types of animals that could be found on a farm, breeds of cows, types of chickens and their combs.  The girls love looking at the different types of horses so much so Zoe asked if we could take the book and drive around our community and identify horse breeds.

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I like books that teach something and this book is filled with new learnings for the whole family.

Now let’s dive into Nature Anatomy, I can say with certainty that had this book been around when I was a little girl it would have been my absolute favorite and gone on all my expeditions with me.

This book also has seven chapters:

  1. Common ground (all about earth and landscapes)
  2. What’s Up? (atmosphere, weather, constellations)
  3. Come Close (Anatomy of flowers, bees, butterflies, ants)
  4. Take a Hike (trees, leaf ID, flowers, seeds, mushrooms, foraging)
  5. Creature Feature (animals in the neighborhood, the animal underground, Animals with antlers and horns, outstanding adaptations)
  6. A Little Bird Told Me (bird anatomy, eggs, owls, beaks)
  7. Head Above Water (water bodies, ecosystems, tidal zones, ponds, anatomy of jellyfish, seashells)

This book is a budding naturalists delight!  It covers just about everything.  With these two books in hand you cannot go wrong, your petite will have so much information you will be hearings…”Did you know…” all day long.

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What I love most about these books –

  • the illustrations are amazing, the colors, the layout, the design of the book – it’s a perfect field journal.
  • the information is highly beneficial for all kids to know – perfect primer
  • the information is presented in fun and quirky ways making it easily accessible to many ages.  My almost 3 year old loves to flip through and talk about the animals and plants.  My almost seven year old loves the facts and descriptions and of course reading it to her sister.
  • It is as if science and nature got together and made a perfect baby
  • Julia is clearly passionate about imparting learning, her chapters are highly curated with the perfect amount of information and art.

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I am also thrilled to say that another installment of her amazing work will be hitting shelves this November: Food Anatomy: the Curious Parts & Pieces of our Edible World.

I hope you enjoy these books as much as we do!
Happy Reading,



One thought on “Field Guides for Petite Naturalists

  1. Pingback: Curious Kids Nature Guide…is AMAZING! | The Petite Stag

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