Librarian’s Corner: Guest Blogger Monica Harris Picks Natural World Reads

by Ann Jacobus on October 19, 2014

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Having a teaching background, I know how important it is to be able to explain a concept six different ways for six different types of learners. So when it comes to sharing the natural world with readers, why limit their exposure to just one ‘explanation’ or genre? This week, let’s examine inspiration for kids in nonfiction, fiction and poetry.

NONFICTION – Young kids are naturally curious and finding a book on a specific topic is like a treasure hunt. Want to know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? There’s a book on that! Want to learn the life cycle of a butterfly? There’s a book on that! I want to share a few books that cater to that nonfiction-based learner.

Natural Disasters / Ready to Read Series written by Marion Dane Bauer (ages 4-6) are fabulous books for young readers who want to know scientific explanations on such things as earthquakes, volcanoes, clouds, wind, and rain. These books might also ease the worries of young kids who live in effected regions but I highly recommend they be shared with a parent. That would allow further discussion on the emotions that often revolve around such disasters.

Activity AtlasChildren’s Activity Atlas by Jenny Slater (ages 5-9) features illustrated maps about different continents and the wildlife, food, architecture, and culture found in each. Includes reusable stickers, postcards, and a pocket-size passport that kids can stamp to track their learning. For the reader who would like to feel like a mini-expert about a certain area, this might be right up their alley.

The Natural WorldThe Usborne Illustrated Encyclopedia: The Natural World by Lisa Watts (ages 10+) is a great resource for non-fiction learners who love fabulous illustrations, are eager for project suggestions, and eat up facts about animals and plants. This book is like an open box of chocolates – there’s a little something for everyone. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with Usborne books, but this one focuses specifically on the natural world.

Later this week we’ll explore the natural world through fiction!

Monica HarrisMonica is an author, assessment writer, and creative writing instructor with the Institute of Children’s Literature. She has 15 published books and over 225 magazine publications. She considers herself an eclectic writer because she writes about anything – ticks, roosters with laryngitis, and even a loud boy who wakes up the dead. Monica lives with her husband in Kalamazoo, Michigan where she enjoys hiking, belly dancing, and strolling through cemeteries. Learn more here.

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