Curious Kids Nature Guide…is AMAZING!

Sometimes a book comes along that seems like it was written specifically for your child, and folks here we have it!  Okay, let’s just jump in, I have a feeling that this book is going to be a huge hit with my science loving readers.  So here we go…  Curious Kids Nature Guide: Exploring the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific Northwest by Fiona Cohen and illustrated by Marni Fylling (Little Bigfoot, 2017) is hitting the shelves today, and we are beyond smitten with this little book that is so packed full of fun facts, fine illustrations and science knowledge.

Curious Kids Nature Guide

This is a perfect nature guide for your Pacific Northwest naturalist.  It is filled with 100 of the most facinating  flora and fauna found here in the PNW (possibly even Northern California, too).  This little treasure of a book is broken into four categories: forest, beach, freshwater and backyards & urban parks; clearly covering all of the areas your petite might get to explore on a regular basis.

What we love about this book is that it is small (about 7×8 inches), so it fits nicely into a small bag or children’s backpack making it easy to take along with you into the field.  Dividing the book into habitats makes it really easy to use for little ones who are just learning how to use a table of contents.

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We love the introduction notes at the beginning of each section; they feel like a little reminder from a naturalist before you head out to explore.  Isn’t this the best reminder?The beautiful illustrations bring the flora and fauna to life covering just a few of the more common animals and plants you might find in the region.  Below is how each ecosystem is introduced in the book with a gorgeous full spread of the animals with the scientific names.

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We also loved the write-up of each of the plants and animals, it was so thorough, but fun and engaging to read.  It has a lot of really fun facts within the pages of this book as well.  I have lived in the PNW for almost 20 years now and learned quite a bit of new information when reading this book with my petites.  Whether you’re learning more about the salmon or its life cycle before you head to a hatchery or the fish market this book has a learning opportunity for you.

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Whether or not you live in the PNW or are planning a trip here this summer, this book would be an amazing add to your bag.  In fact, if you know anyone who is traveling to the PNW with petites this is a book I would strongly recommend, because if you spend any amount of time here you will encounter many of these amazing animals and plants even on the shortest of visits.

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Although, I am not a traditional homeschooling mama my almost 4-year-old loves doing lessons, so we make sure we spend time each day doing lessons and this book has helped to ensure she is engaged and learning about the important ecosystems right in our own backyard.  Not to mention this book will be accompanying us on all of our summer adventures to the pond, beach and of course on those amazing summer hikes in our national parks.

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This book is perfectly geared for kindergarteners (with some help reading the text) up to 5th grade because it is engaging with the fun facts.  I personally love this book and think it is fabulous, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it with my petites and know that my girls absolutely love it because they’ve been asking when we can go to the forest, beach and a freshwater habitat.

We can’t wait to get out and start exploring this summer, what’s your favorite place to go with your petites in the summer?

Bloggers Note: This book was given to my by Sasquatch Book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Thank you to Little Bigfoot for use of images in this post.

 

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Big Science for Little People

Big Science for Little People Cover

We love science in our house, specifically our oldest petite who is obsessed with doing experiments, dissecting dead bugs and plants and learning all about how things work.  We spend a lot of time trying to find books that would be perfect for our budding scientist.  So when the opportunity arose for us to check out Big ScieBig Science -nce for Little People: 52 Activities to Help You & Your Child Discover the Wonders of Science by Lynn Brunelle (Roost Books, 2016) we jumped at the opportunity.

Recently, we started thinking about summer and what we are going to do all day long to keep the petites happy and engaged.  This book is so wonderful and filled with experiments that you will actually want to do!  What we love is that that the experiments, concoctions and activities are actually made with things you would normally have in your house.

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No seriously, there are no obscure chemicals or ingredients that will send you to the store.  Thrilling, right?!  I mean seriously, I am giddy just thinking about these experiments and how we already have all of the items needed.  There is nothing more frustrating than finally getting an activity that both kids want to do and then realizing you need to drive all over town to find some random ingredient that is insanely expensive and you only need 1/16th of a teaspoon, am I right?

The 52 activities are broken into two categories: At Home: Kitchen Concoctions, Bathtub Tests and Creative Explorations and On the Playground: Loud, Messy and Free-Range Experiments.  As a mom and teacher I love Lynn’s approach to science, in that it is all around us, right at our fingertips and we here at the Petite Stag couldn’t agree more and love the resourcefulness and creativity found in this amazing little book.

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What you will love about this book is the discussion before each activity about why you and your petites will love it, the clear instructions, as well as a very kid friendly, but scientific explanations for what is actually happening during the experiment.  Then, our favorite part, the “take if further” where you can extend your learning and your geek-ness.  Another cool component of this book is the Geek Mama Fun Fact which can be found at the end of some of the activities.  This book will be the perfect addition to your scientists collection of resources.  We will be sure to post pictures along the way on Insta as we move through the activities.

Bloggers note: I was given this book by Roost Books in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions shared in this post are my own.  Thank you to Roost Books for the use of the images in this post.

All My Friends Are Planets

 

All My Friends Are Planets.pngAugust 24, 2006 was a day that marked a huge shift in our solar system; a shift that challenged what we always thought we knew.   Mike Brown, an astronomer, determined that Pluto was no longer a planet, but in fact a Dwarf Planet.  If you or your petite is a huge fan of the solar system or even just wants to read a really fabulous story, I have just the book recommendation for you!  All My Friends are Planets by Alisha Vimawala is a story about our favorite Dwarf Planet – Pluto!

In this story Pluto is personified into a charming little planet, who has lived life on the outskirts of the solar system.  Pluto always felt a little different from his friends, but they never made him feel like he was alone or different.  Until that one day, August 24, 2006 when Pluto realized that all that time that he had felt differently and it was for a great reason, he was different but in a unique and extremely special way.
This story is not just about planets and science, but about being included, about what it means to know someone is different and to value them for their differences. The message is subtle, but a powerful one.  This book would be a great read for first to third graders as it covers a lot of information about the solar system (which often times is not taught in schools these days).
Another component of this book that is completely unique is that on the final page there is a blank planet and your petite is encouraged to draw their own planet and then snap a picture for a chance to have their creation shared as well as a chance to win a customized plush of the drawing!  So cool, right?
We hope you enjoy this fantastic book!  We love that this book inspires petites to look into the sky and imagine what else might be out there.

A Tribute to Women in Science

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Women in Science – 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofky (Ten Speed Press, 2016) is a book that is so beautifully illustrated you will have to read it multiple times to see all of the intricate details.  You absolutely need to get your hands on this book right now!  Seriously, it is by far one of the most swoon worthy books I have seen to date.  It is simply put – gorgeous!  Not only is this book beyond amazingly illustrated, it is filled with so many glorious facts and mini biographies that you will be sure to learn new facts about some of the most important women in science.
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We are living in a very exciting time right now in children’s books, we are seeing so many new, innovative books celebrating the genius of women.  This book is a perfect example of what I am talking about, Rachel Ignotofksy has created a book that is as much for a petites bedtime story, as it is a middle schoolers science project reference, or possibly a lovely book to sit on your coffee table and read at your leisure.
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These mini biographies are just enough to get your petites a thorough understanding of these incredibly smart and talented women.  The little facts and bits of interesting trivia that surround the biographies are so much fun to read.  My daughters have been listening intently to life and accomplishments of these brilliant women with loads of questions about how they got to be so smart, brave, courageous and adventurous.
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When you give your petites quality books to read and listen to there is only one consequence, you will fill their minds with all the possibilities.  You will give them ideas about what they can strive to do to make the world a better place.  This book does just that, it celebrates women who have made remarkable contributions to not only the world, but to the scientific community.
These women are truly role models for every single young girl who has ever had a dream – this book belongs in every classroom, in every library, in every petites hands.  Eventhough now more than ever children have the potential to be anything they want, there are still too many young girls who believe that their dreams are only dreams.  This book, in my opinion, sets out to change that.  By making these stories known, we can encourage our girls to dream big and to believe that they can accomplish anything.
Bloggers Note:
All Images Reprinted with permission from Women in Science Copyright © 2016 by Rachel Ignotofsky. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  All thoughts and opinions shared within this post are my own.

Finding Dory Inspired Book List

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We took the petites to see Finding Dory yesterday and it was FANTASTIC, I seriously cannot handle how amazing Pixar is at putting out such quality films.  The girls love the ocean and all the things that live beneath the surface, so when I started thinking about the books that we already have on our shelves that are tried and true and a few others that we borrowed from the library  it was quite clear that we needed to put together a list of our favorites.

 Breathe by Scott Magoon (Simon & Schuster, 2014) This book is all about Dory’s message, just keep swimming.  The story follows a baby beluga through out their day, a lovely message of play, swim and breathe.  Perfect for 2-7 year olds, also a really great first read book as the text is sparse.

1001 Things to Spot in the Sea by Katie Daynes (Usborne, 2009).  This is a really fun book that will keep kids busy for a while searching for all of the hidden items.  We love the Usborne 1001 books they are really well done, with fantastically busy pictures, perfect for 3-7 year olds.

Coral Reefs by Jason Chin (Flash Point, 2011) is a perfect book for transporting you to another world.  This book is full of mystery and intrigue, filled with opportunities to talk about “what if”.  This book is perfect for 5-9 year olds.

Commotion in the Ocean by by Giles Andreae and art by David Wojtowyez (Tiger Tales, 2002) is a silly read that will have your petites giggling in no time.  The poetic verses will be sure to capture the attention of your petites along with the vibrant colors, and you are set for an undersea journey with your petite.  Perfect for ages 2-6.

 24 Hours in the Coral Reef (DK Children’s, 2005)  This non-fiction book is so unique and so stunning in its gorgeous photographs, much like all the other DK books you’ve grown to love.  This book is a unique look at what happens hour by hour in a coral reef.  My girls find this book to be enchanting and love looking and talking about the pictures.  This book is geared toward 10-17 year olds because of its scientific text, however, with guidance this book can be accessed at a much younger age.
Usborne Lift The Flap Under the Sea by Jessica Greenwell and Peter Scott (Usborne, 2010) is a gorgeous book that your budding marine biologists will love.  This book is perfect for 2 year olds and up, however, if your petites doesn’t rip the flaps, then this can be for an even younger babe.

National Geographic Ocean Animals by Johnna Rizzo (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2016) is a gorgeous book filled incredible pictures to pique curiosity and help petites who are interested in learning more about the animals in Finding Nemo and Dory.  Get to know the real animals in this stunning fact filled non-fiction book is perfect for 8-12 year olds.

 Life in the Ocean:the story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A Nivola (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012) is a gorgeous look at the life of Sylvia Earle.  This book is gorgeous, we have checked this book out from the library quite a few times.  It tells the story of how Sylvia’s passion for the ocean was sparked as a young girl in the Gulf of Mexico and how she went on to work as an oceanographer.  It is gorgeous and reminds me a little of Me…Jane which we love so much.  Perfect for the 4-8 age set.

 The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor by  Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen (Scholastic, 1994) let’s just start by saying who doesn’t love Ms. Frizzle?  Who doesn’t wish that she could be your teacher?  Okay, so lets talk about this book, it is just like all the other books, busy pages with little perfect conversation bubbles.  Ms. Frizzle with her fantastic wardrobe, and you get to learn about science in a fun way.  Yes, please.  These are tried and true books, perfect for budding scientists.  Suggested age range is around 4-8 years old.

Now for my favorite part, do you have a book that would fit perfectly into this list?  If you do, we would love to hear about it and add it.

Happy Reading!

 

 

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,

Erin