Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nature & Earth Sciences Booklist

DS has been a budding naturalist from very young. But with a very sedentary Mom (who is always griping about living in a small apartment in the middle of a very industrial area of the silicon valley), he's had to make do with the occasional bird sighting and leaf drawing and snail observing.

Aah...but that was before Mom got her hands on these wonderful book titles. Perhaps, just perhaps, he'll have better luck this time. What with Spring around the corner and all...

Oh, I do so love booklists, don't you? I haven’t had a chance to read every one of these so please preview suitability on or at your library.



Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. Originally written in 1911, this book is a very comprehensive tome by the late Ms Comstock, peerless naturalist and first Head of the Department of Nature Study at Cornell University. We've had this book for ages but I just haven't been able to bring myself to go into it in great detail. The BW photos and smaller print is only partly to blame. I strongly believe I'm affected by how comprehensive it is and how "difficult" I feel it will be for us to use it in our current surroundings. However, it's good to know that help is at hand from the wonderful Handbook of Nature Study blog, home of the Outdoor Hour Challenges. Also, check out the 100 Species Challenge.

Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth. Great confidence-building book for beginner naturalists and keepers of nature journals.

The Amateur Naturalist by Gerrald and Lee Durrell: what to do in 17 various environments (backyard, beach, meadow, etc). The version on my shelf, titled The Practical Guide for the Amateur Naturalist, is a 1988-edition hardback beauty with both black and white and color illustrations and photographs. I can lose myself in this book for days and days! Absolutely gorgeous and inspiring work. Mr Durrell also includes wonderful advice on how to start out as a naturalist. There are also other Amateur Naturalist titles by the man e.g. How To Shoot An Amateur Naturalist.

One Hundred Lessons in Nature Study Around My School by Frank Owen Payne. First found it on Google Books and then, the reprinted version on Amazon. First published in 1895, it goes beyond nature study into Biology and the fundamentals of Chemistry.

James Herriot's Treasury for Children: Warm and Joyful Tales by the Author of All Creatures Great and Small -- arguably, the classic compilation of animal tales.

Jim Arnosky. DS absolutely loves his books. We haven't had a chance to read all of them yet but he always hangs on to the ones we get from the library and begs me to renew them till our full 9 weeks are over. List below:
Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking
Beachcombing: Exploring the Seashore
Drawing from Nature
Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature's Footprints
and the Crinkleroot series, including
Crinkleroot's 25 Birds Every Child Should Know (also 25 Fish, 25 Mammals etc)
Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Birds
Crinkleroots Guide To Knowing Animal Habitats
Crinkleroot's Guide to Animal Tracking
Crinkleroot's Guide to Walking in Wild Places
Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing Butterflies and Moths
Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Trees
Crinkleroot's Nature Almanac
I'm sure I'm missing others but these were what I could find on Amazon with cover illustrations available.

And of course, the One Small Square series by Donald M. Silver:
Cactus Desert
Tropical Rain Forest
The Night Sky
Arctic Tundra
Coral Reef
African Savanna

OTHER NATURE TITLESNature study books on my to check out list:
Nature for the Very Young: A Handbook of Indoor and Outdoor Activities by Marcia Bowden
Nature in a Nutshell for Kids: Over 100 Activities You Can Do in Ten Minutes or Less by Jean Potter

A number of books suggested by my friend, Fiddler, including:
Sharing Nature With Children by Joseph Bharat Cornell (also Sharing Nature With Children II)
Let Nature be the Teacher by Lucille N Gertz
The Sierra Club Wayfinding Book by Vicki McVey
and field guides like:
The Take-Along Guides (Caterpillars, Butterflies & Moths; Tracks,
Scats, & Signs; Trees, Leaves, & Bark etc.) by various authors,
published by NorthWord Press
Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists
and activity books:
Nature Smart: Awesome Projects to Make with Mother Nature's Help by Gwen Diehn, Terry Krautwurst, Alan Anderson, and Joe Rhatigan
Earthways: Simple Environmental Activities for Young Children by Carol Petrash and Donald Cook

These titles were suggested by Becky (and one of the Gale Lawrence titles by Dawn) on the SecularCM Yahoo Group.

A few other books by Gerald Durrell:
My Family and Other Animals
A Zoo in My Luggage
Birds, Beasts And Relatives
The Whispering Land
Menagerie Manor

Books by Gale Lawrence (very engaging and narrative-style by the looks of them)
A Field Guide to the Familiar: Learning to Observe the Natural World
A Naturalist Indoors: Observing the World of Nature Inside Your Home
The Beginning Naturalist: Weekly Encounters With the Natural World

Elizabeth Lawlor's Discover Nature Series:
Discover Nature Close to Home
Discover Nature Around the House
Discover Nature at Sundown
Discover Nature at the Seashore
Discover Nature in Winter
Discover Nature in Water & Wetlands

An out of print title suggested by Becky on the Living Science List:
The Golden Treasury of Natural History by Bertha M Parker


Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children and also, Sunflower Houses : Inspiration from the Garden - A Book for Children and Their Grown-Ups by Sharon Lovejoy -- with lovely activities for the very young (and young-at-heart).

Gardening Wizardry for Kids by L. Patricia Kite -- a comb-bound delight with interesting snippets on the history of various plants.

Gardening with Children (Brooklyn Botanic Garden All-Region Guide) by Monika Hanneman

Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening by Laurie Carlson

Kids Container Gardening: Year-Round Projects for Inside and Out by Cindy Krezel

And for the parents and older kids, the following have struck my fancy:

Practical Science for Gardeners by Mary Pratt

Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners by James B. Nardi



Janice VanCleave's Earth Science for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiments that Really Work by Janice VanCleave

Rocks, Minerals, Fossils
Peterson First Guide to Rocks and Minerals by Frederick H. Pough and Roger Tory Peterson Smithsonian Rock and Fossil Hunter by DK Publishing
Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks and Minerals (Smithsonian Handbooks) by Chris Pellant

Weather, Water Cycle

Weather (DK Eyewitness Books) by Brian Cosgrove
The Magic School Bus At The Waterworks by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
The Magic School Bus Inside A Hurricane by Joanna Cole, Bruce Degen
Oh Say Can You Say What's the Weather Today?: All About Weather by Tish Rabe and Aristides Ruiz
The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola
The Man Who Named the Clouds by Julie Hannah, Joan Holub, and Paige Billin-Frye
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Weather by David Ludlum

Go back to Living Science Booklists.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Suji, I've recently awarded you 'The Wonderful Blog Award.' If you go to my blog, you can 'collect' it when you have time. :)


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