If you're looking for some books that encourage young children to get out and explore nature, you might want to check out some of these new series from Bearport Publishing. They're all aimed at a second-grade reading level, but preschool nature detectives will love the bright photos and backyard activities.
How do You Know it's Summer is part of a series about the seasons by Ruth Owen. She encourages children to keep track of the temperature from week to week and make notes about the kinds - and colors - of flowers blooming around the yard. Look at how leaves change over the season, she says, and what sorts of insects hang out. And there's a summer scavenger hunt in the back. Yes, I could have posted this review last month - but there are still six more weeks of summer - plenty of time to head outside and fill a nature journal with cool (or hot) observations.
Speaking of "cool and hot", there's a new Weatherwise series, with books on climate and weather. They're full of photos and facts, a great introduction to help sort out what is the difference between snow, ice, hail or between weather and climate (something adults have difficulty remembering).
Having devoted an entire week to moths last month, I need to at least mention the new butterfly book, A Butterfly's Life by Ellen Lawrence. It's part of the "Animal Diaries" series. Each spread features a diary entry (written by a kid, not a caterpillar) and great photos of a Monarch butterfly's life cycle, from egg to adult. Lawrence includes lots of activities, from going on a caterpillar hunt to creating a butterfly fruit breakfast club. And she lists a few favorite butterfly plants you can grow in your garden - jot them down on your calendar so you remember to plant them next spring!
For science adventure into places you normally can't go, check out the "Hole Truth" series. Want to know what a fox den or chipmunk's home is really like? Dee Phillips takes you there with an underground home tour: here's the bedroom, there's the pantry, and yonder are a couple extra doors in case you need to get home in a hurry.