The Mushroom Hunt

The Mushroom HuntTitle:  The Mushroom Hunt
Author:  Simon Frazer
Illustrator:  Penny Dale
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
ISBN:  1-56402-500-4

Summary:  A family goes on a walk in the forest looking for different kinds of fall mushrooms.
Butterfly’s notes:  Beautiful autumn illustrations match the sweet story about the mushroom hunt.  Extra information about mushrooms can be found in the margins.

Categories:  ages 7-9, ages 10-12, nature, picture books

the Salamander Room

the Salamander RoomTitle:  the Salamander Room
Author:  Anne Mazer
Illustrator:  Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
Publisher:  Dragonfly Books
ISBN:  0-679-86187-4

Summary:  A little boy imagines what it would be like to create a perfect habitat for his salamander friend inside his room.
Butterfly’s books:  It’s fun to imagine having a room like this (or perhaps just sleeping under the stars)!  This is a wonderful story.

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, animal stories, funny stories, nature, picture books

I Wish I Were A Butterfly

I Wish I Were A ButterflyTitle:  I Wish I Were A Butterfly
Author:  James Howe
Illustrator:  Ed Young
Publisher:  Voyager Books
ISBN:  0-15-238013-2

Summary:  A small cricket is feeling depressed because the frog at the edge of the pond told him he was ugly.  He wishes her could be a butterfly, because they are beautiful.  The other insects give him council to help him realize that he is beautiful in his own right and has other charms all his own.
Butterfly’s notes:  Everyone has wished at some point or another that they could be different.  This book is about learning to recognise our own inner beauty and value ourselves for what we are.

Categories:  ages 7-9, ages 10-12, animal stories, nature, picture books, profound messages

Flute’s Journey: The Life Of A Wood Thrush

Flute's JourneyTitle:  Flute’s Journey:  The Life Of A Wood Thrush
Author/ Illustrator:  Lynne Cherry
Publisher:  Harcourt Brace And Company
ISBN:  0-15-292853-7

Summary:  Where do our Northern songbirds go in the winter?  This book answers that question by taking us along on the first migration and nesting period of Flute, a Wood Thrush.  Flute travels from the Belt Woods in Maryland to the  Bosque Eterno de los Ninos in Costa Rica for the winter and returns again in the spring.
Butterfly’s notes:  This book tells of the troubles facing songbirds and also of their triumphs.  A good book for inspiring an interest in birds and ecology.

Categories:  ages 10-12, animal stories, nature, picture books

Swan Flyway: The Tundra Swan

Swan FlywayTitle:  Swan Flyway:  The Tundra Swan
Author:  Dana Limpert
Illustrator:  Jo-Ellen Bosson
Publisher:  Soundprints
ISBN:  0-924483-95-4

Summary:  Swan Flyway chronicles the migration of a swan family from the Chesapeake Bay to the Canadian tundra and back again.
Butterfly’s notes:  If you can find the audio version of this book to go along with it, I highly recommend getting it.

Categories:  ages 7-9, animal stories, nature, picture books

When Winter Comes

When Winter ComesTitle:  When Winter Comes
Author:  Nancy Van Laan
Illustrator:  Susan Gaber
Publisher:  Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN:  0-689-81778-9

Summary:  This poem answers the question “Where do [the animals] go when winter comes?”
Butterfly’s notes:  A family wonders where the animals go in winter and takes a walk to discover the answers.  That might be something you could try with your children!

Categories:  ages 4-6, ages 7-9, animal stories, nature, picture books, poetry

Red Fox Running

Red Fox RunningTitle:  Red Fox Running
Author:  Eve Bunting
Illustrator:  Wendell Minor
Publisher:  Clarion Books
ISBN:  0-395-79723-3

Summary:  A poem about a hungry red fox in search of something to bring home to its family for dinner.
Butterfly’s notes:  This poem is paired with glorious illustrations.  It really makes you think of the fox as a good animal instead of a hunter out to get small, fluffy things.

Categories:  ages 7-9, animal stories,  nature, picture books, poetry

Pond Year

Pond YearTitle:  Pond Year
Author:  Kathryn Lasky
Illustrator:  Mike Bostock
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
ISBN:  0-7636-0112-8

Summary:  Two young girls explore a backyard pond through the different seasons of the year.
Butterfly’s notes:  This is a good book about not only nature and the seasons but also about friendship.

Categories:  ages 7-9, animal stories, nature, picture books

Discover The Seasons

Discover The SeasonsTitle:  Discover The Seasons
Author/ Illustrator:  Diane Iverson
Publisher:  DAWN Publications
ISBN:  1-883220-43-2

Summary:  A poem about different animals through the seasons.  Also includes things to do with children in each season and kids’ recipes.
Butterfly’s notes:  Both a story and a resource, this book will be one you’ll come back to over and over.

Categories:  age 7-9, animal stories, nature, picture books, poetry

Ducklings And Pollywogs

Ducklings And PollywogsTitle:  Ducklings And Pollywogs
Author:  Anne Rockwell
Illustrator:  Lizzy Rockwell
Publisher:  Macmillan Publishing Company
ISBN:  0-02-777452-X

Summary:  A little girl and her father explore the plants and animals around a pond in the woods from winter to winter through all the seasons.
Butterfly’s notes:  The plants and animals in this book are ones that could easily be observed at a pond by any parent  and child.  It is interesting to watch the seasons pass through the story.

Categories:  ages 7-9, animal stories, nature, picture books

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