Friday, September 25, 2020

A True Blue Treasure Hunt!

Rare and Blue: Finding Nature's Treasures 
by Constance Van Hoven; illus. by Alan Marks
48 pages; ages 7-10
Charlesbridge, 2020

theme: nature, color, exploration

How do you find nature’s treasures, both rare and blue? Set off on a hunt!

This book takes readers on a nonfiction treasure hunt to discover eight species that are blue. Not only that, they are naturally rare, or threatened or endangered. And there’s a lot to discover: the Karner blue butterfly, a blue lobster, bluestem grass, and the Cerulean warbler.

What I like about this book: One spread introduces a habitat and presents a clue … leaving the answer to the mystery just beyond the page turn. For example, if you are hiking in a forest then listen carefully for the “zray, zray, zray, zreee…” It’s a cerulean warbler up in the tall trees.

There are so many other things to like in this book. The details about each plant or animal. The different ways of seeing blue: sapphire, cerulean, silvery, indigo. The illustrations that invite you to look and look again. The surprise ending that celebrates our “blue planet.” And, of course, Back Matter – where you can learn some cool words and discover more facts about the plants and animals featured in the book.

Beyond the Books:

Go on a Blue treasure hunt of your own. What blue animals and plants do you find in the nature around you? Maybe you will find Bachelor buttons in a garden, or an Indigo bunting perched on a branch. A zoo or arboretum might be good place to hunt for blue.

Look for little blue bugs. Scientists recently found a rare blue bee in Florida. Other people have found blue beetles and blue “roly-polies” or woodlice. So next time you’re in the garden or moving the compost or wood pile, pay attention to the little critters.

What’s your favorite color? Grab a thesaurus and find out how many different words there are for that color. Or visit the Color Thesaurus.

You can find a bunch of book-related educational activity pages here.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. This is a wonderful nonfiction, book combining blue, "rareness" and animals!

  2. I love nature books. But, I really like how this one stands out and by giving a clue and letting them guess what's on the next page. Great way to learn! My favorite is the Blue Morpho Butterfly. I have a curious great grandson who'd enjoy this book. Thank you for the recommendation!