There are few things I love more than getting my hands on a new book, especially kids’ books. (And if you happen to be an avid reader of this blog, you’ll understand this completely). The heavenly scent of freshly printed pages gets me every time (no e-readers for me, thank you very much), and the opportunity to dive head first into a new world is incredibly compelling. Books for kids have an important job to do, as far as I’m concerned: They must not only hold their attention, but stimulate their mind and capture their imagination. This season, I’m delighted to find two great picture books that tap into this love of learning with the great outdoors. Bug Detective is the bible for all things insect, and will satisfy even the most inquisitive bug collector. Teeming with tons of details and ‘did you know?’ fun facts, this illustrated guide is divided into sections of creepy, crawly critters. Each spread pays tribute to an individual bug and spells out everything from their life cycles, to what roles they play in the bigger bug world. A miniature paper magnifying glass lets kids zero in on the finer details, and can help turn outdoor bug hunts into a knowledge fest. Thanks to this book, I’ll never look at that stink bug the same way again…From the backyard to the beach comes High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs, which explores the fascinating journey of sea creatures we often see, but may not know much about. The story of how they migrate each season, without fail, to come ashore and lay their eggs is one of determination and resilience. We were particularly intrigued by their relationship with the shore birds in search of food and inevitably disrupt their egg-laying. Watercolor imagery of this miraculous experience is beautifully played out in these pages, and will surely enrapture future marine biologists. As a lifelong beach lover myself, this book opened my eyes into a world I thought I understood completely…and left me looking forward to the summer months.
In a Nutshell: Books that celebrate the outdoors, these two reads are perfect accompaniments to outdoor exploration by land or by sea.