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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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,