Springtime offers so many inviting ways to explore and celebrate nature that we’ve decided to offer the chance to teachers and librarians to win a nature exploration picture book shelf! The collection includes seven different books, one for each day of the week, and everybody can follow these links to the free web-based resources their publishers are offering. To win the collection of picture books, comment below about how you’ll use them in your classroom or library next spring. To enter to win, you need to enter your comment by May 20.
Now, every nature lover gather round and let’s go exploring!
First on the shelf is Toon Books factual graphic novel for beginning readers. We’ve all come to love Kevin McCloskey’s witty, informative books about small, common creatures. Toon publishes this book as part of their aptly named series “Giggle and Learn.” To learn and enjoy more related to Snails Are Just My Speed, visit the lesson plans created by Maureen Schlosser.
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table is Jacqueline Briggs-Martin’s children’s biography of former basketball star Will Allen’s work to make urban gardening an attractive reality. The picture book is illustrated by Eric-Shabazz Larkin, and the version we are including on our giveaway shelf is the award-winning read-along audiobook from Live Oak Media and narrated by Peter Jay. Urban and community gardening offer great ways to actively participate in nature. Want to get started? Visit these resources related to this picture book.
Taking a walk in nature becomes even more rewarding when we have some guidance about potential attractions we can spot (and hear) along the way. Two different environments for such casual walks are featured in A Walk on the Shoreline, by Rebecca Hainnu with illustrations by Qin Leng, and published by Inhabit Media, and A Walk through Nature, by Libby Walden with illustrations by Clover Robin and published by Tiger Tales. Whether the walk you can take in a nearby natural setting—a park, your back yard, or maybe another environment—shares some of the plant and wildlife features in these books can make for a great discussion itself. You can find more ideas for building on experiencing your own and a picture book nature walk by visiting our Pinterest board of At-home Fun Activities we’ve collected.
You can also receive some expert guidance in becoming a naturalist with the latest volume of Tilbury House’s “Acadia Files” factual picture book series. The Acadia Files: Book Four, Spring Science, by Katie Coppens with illustrations by Holly Hatam, gives us plenty of inspiration for applying scientific methods to exploring close at hand nature. Each chapter offers an activity that can be achieved in most home settings, with some that may need to wait until schools, libraries, and other places further afield can be reached again.
Also from Tilbury House, for younger picture book readers is the brand new Common Critters, by Pat Brisson and with humorous illustrations by Dan Tavis. Here’s a perfect guidebook to the very small animals that appear in spring, including worms and birds and even houseflies. The book also contains the author’s sharing of her poetry toolkit, another aapproach we might want to take when enjoying nature.
Finally, the seventh title on our giveaway shelf of nature books for spring is Leaf Litter Critters, by Leslie Bulion with illustrations by Robert Meganck, and published by Peachtree Publishing. Again using poetry as the narrative vehicle, this one gives readers a tour of the “brown food web” of tiny animals that are part of nature’s recycling system. The publisher has supplied a classroom-ready lesson plan that can be used at home with ease.
Let’s all find ways to enjoy spring safely this year. And enter to win this collection to support the programming and lessons you can take into next spring, too! Remember to tell us at which school or library you will be using the collection to explore nature in a future spring.