by David A. Carter
12 pages; ages 3-5
Abrams Appleseed, 2018
The summer day is long and warm...
Each spread in this book features brief text and depicts plants and animals that children might see during the summer.
What I like about this book: It's fun! When you turn the page, a plant or tree pops up (plus the squash that vines from one side of the spread to the other). Birds, animals, fruits, and the occasional feature are labeled, and there is plenty of detail to explore on the page. It almost begs kids to get up and head outside to explore summer. My recommendation: tuck this one in your picnic basket.
by Libby Romero
160 pages; ages 8 & up
National Geographic Children's Books, 2018
I love the NGK field guide series. They are sturdy field guides that are just the right size for tucking into the pocket of a back pack. It's not as detailed as the Peterson guide, but it makes up for the lack of entries with vibrant photos and is organized in a fun way that groups flowers by the sorts of questions one might ask. For example, one chapter highlights invasive flowers, another one draws your attention to petal shape.
The front pages introduce wildflowers, how they grow, and where to find them. Front matter is where you'll find a diagram of flower parts, a checklist of things to take along on a flower hike (remember a hand lens!), and some tips on protecting wildflowers.
Flowers are introduced by common name, scientific name, and a paragraph of general information about the species. In addition to a photo, there are often drawings that show basic features to help with plant identification. Plus lots of wildflower watching tips.
by Dee Leone; illus. by Bali Engel
40 pages; ages 3-7
Moths with powdery wings do soft gently stir the air aloft.
Their flitter-flutter lullabies barely whisper, "Close your eyes."
Spiders spin, crickets sing, tree branches shuuush in the breeze. The lyrical language paired with dark blues of a night world will certainly bring calm after a busy day.
What I like about this book: It's quiet - a lullaby that celebrates the night world. Drifting parachutes sprinkle seeds, night creatures sing, and all around us the mama and papa birds and fish and deer tuck their young in, and snuggle up for a good night's sleep.
Beyond the Book:
Show how summer looks, smells, sounds, and feels. Draw pictures, cut photos from a magazine, and create a collage or map for the season. Add labels where needed.
Go on a listening walk. You can do this during the day or at night, in the city or in the country. Notice the different sounds you hear.
Get to know your wildflower neighbors. The best way to learn who they are is to take a field guide with you, so you can compare petals and leaves of flowers to the descriptions in the guide book. There are some online guides. Here's one, and here's another.