theme: nature, animals, ocean
This month we’re going on adventures to explore different habitats and biomes. First up: the seashore. Being an inland dweller, I have only visited the shore a few times – mostly in summer, but once in late fall (which was delightful!). The lakeshores I know and love are too rocky for barefoot wandering and there is no sand for building castles, but there are plenty of noisy gulls and fishy smells and watery sounds galore.
by Charles Trevino; illus. by Maribel Lechuga
32 pages; ages 3-7
Usually I begin with the first line of the book, but today I’m highlighting the language on page three: Slow steps—shuffle, straddle, saunter … sand.
This is the story of a girl on a seashore walk with her doll and mom. They make wonderful discoveries, and there’s a bit of angst when the doll tumbles into the tidepool. All ends well, though, after a warm bath and a snuggle into a quilt for a story. Though the book features a winter walk to the shore, it’s a perfect read for any season.
What I like about this book: It’s filled with Luscious Language! And even more cool – it’s alliteration. Every single word in the book, noun or verb or adjective, begins with S. The illustrations are marvelous. I especially love the illustration of the girl from the point of view of something at the bottom of the tide pool. Back matter includes notes about the words, and some things to find at a beach in winter.
by Jill Esbaum
48 pages; ages 4-8 years
National Geographic Kids, 2021
That’s a sea turtle!
Jill Esbaum pulls us into the watery world of sea turtles from page one. We learn about their habitat, their size (they can weigh as much as four car tires!), adaptations that allow them to live in the ocean, what they eat, how they build a nest, and what life is like for a hatchling. There’s information about threats sea turtles face, and what kids can do to help.
What I like about this book: It’s fun to read and filled with photos. We get to meet all seven kinds of sea turtles; did you know there were seven kinds? Back matter includes a parent’s section with STEAM activities.
Weird But True Ocean
by National Geographic Kids
208 pages; ages 8-12
National Geographic Kids, 2021
Did you know that the Lion’s Mane nudibranch, which is a sea slug, makes a secretion that smells like watermelon? Me neither. But there it is, in white and red on page 20 of this compilation of 300 “fin-tastic” facts from the deep blue sea. What a fun book to toss into the beach bag or back seat travel box for the next trip to the beach, zoo, aquarium, or wherever you go this summer. Another cool fact: octopuses taste with their suction cups. And here I thought they used them to stick onto lids so they could open jars.
Beyond the Books:
Explore the Shore. If you live near a seashore, go for a walk and observe the birds and shore life. If you live too far from the ocean, find a shore you can explore. Maybe along a lake, or a river bank. What kinds of plants do you see? Birds? Animals? What kinds of sounds do you hear? What is the texture of the sand (or rock) that makes up the shore? Come back in the winter and compare what the shore looks, sounds, and smells like. Visit at different times: early morning, late afternoon, night time when the stars fill the sky.
Explore a tide pool. If you live nowhere near a tide pool, see if there are any tide pool exhibits at a local zoo, aquarium, or discovery center. Or virtually explore tide pool creatures via this video (about 5 minutes long).
Explore sea turtles. Learn more about sea turtles at See Turtles. Then grab a paper bowl and construction paper and make your own sea turtle buddy. Here’s how. Then head over to the handy sea turtle tracker at Sea Turtle Conservancy. Click on active sea turtles to follow a turtle – or two or three. Their journeys are mapped out.
We’ll join Perfect Picture Book Friday once they resume. It’s a wonderful gathering where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copies provided by the publishers.