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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'nature'.

Winter Bees is a wonderful picture book of Joyce Sidman's poetry, especially fitting for those who live in a cold climate like we do. Have you ever wondered where bees go in the winter? Or voles, or beavers? This book contains a double-page spread on each featured piece of nature (mostly animals), containing a poem and then a few paragraphs of information about how the animal gets through winter, which helps to fill out the information in the poem.

The poetry here is lovely, and full of clever descriptive phrases. Most poems are of moderate length, managing to communicate a clear picture of winter survival without becoming repetitive or overly wordy.

Bees are "an ancient tribe, a hardy scrum... Together, we boil, we teem, we hum."

Snoflakes are "a lattice of stars spinning silently..."

A raven is a "Squawker, Croaker, Alarm-on-the-wind."

The poem about beavers is written as a pantoum, a poetry form that I don't remember encountering before, featuring some neat repetition of lines.

The illustrations here are amazing -- colorful, full of texture and life. I especially love how a long picture of a branch is drawn as moving from autumn to winter at the beginning of the book, and then again at the end it is shown morphing from winter into spring. 

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Rick Allen
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

We Build Our Homes is such a cute, readable nonfiction book, telling the stories of animals who are known for building homes -- especially unique ones. Each species of animal has a beautifully illustrated two-page spread to tell its story from a first person perspective (as the "we" in the title implies), which I think makes the text more story-like for young children.

We learn about birds, insects, mammals, and more animals that build their houses out of many different materials and in many different settings. One of the most interesting to me were the edible-nest swiftlets, birds who build their nests in caves -- and their nests are made out of their own saliva!

The text here manages to be both informative and readable, while remaining at a level that preschoolers can still appreciate. For older children, the book is not too wordy to read in one sitting. 

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Laura Knowles
Illustrator: Chris Madden
Pages: 64
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Have You Seen Trees? This may seem like an odd title. Of course I've seen trees. Who hasn't? Especially living in a rural, largely forested area, trees are particularly ubiquitous. And perhaps that's what the question is really asking. Have you become so used to encountering trees in the daily landscape that you're not really "seeing" them anymore?

The book doesn't get that philosophical, but by describing trees in their various seasons, colors, varieties, and habitats, especially with the use of many hyphenated descriptor phrases, the rhyming text reminds us of the beauty and versatility of trees. The soft and vibrant illustrations pair wonderfully with the celebratory text, making the book a joy to read (though the hyphenated phrases can take some practice!).

Scrounged From: A local used book sale

Format: Paperback
Author: Joanne Oppenheim
Illustrators: Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng
Pages: 35
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Warbler Wave is a book featuring beautiful, detailed photography of bright yellow warblers, with poetic and gently rhyming text that describes their actions and migration events. 

While I don't see many warblers where I am in Maine, I remember seeing them and reading about them while living in Maryland, and thought they were such cheery-looking birds. This was a nice way to learn more about them as an adult -- the book's text is fairly spare, but there are a couple more pages of information at the end, for adults and older children. 

I think my favorite photos are the ones of warblers caught right in the act of catching flying insects to eat -- so neat! I enjoy any book that not only invites us to marvel at the wonders of creation, but provides quality, engaging photos to draw us in and appeal to our inner "birder."

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Round is another neat "concept book" from Joyce Sidman, similar to her Swirl by Swirl book about spirals in nature (see my review here).

Here we explore the concept of "round," from planets and the moon to berries, eggs, and other things that grow. The text is poetic and is written from the first-person perspective of an observant child. It's really fun to think about just how many different contexts this shape appears in. In the text and in an informational page at the end, we also get to explore other concepts that contribute to circles and spheres: gravity, growth, weight, etc.

It's amazing how one simple shape can guide us from tiny things to the enormous and distant, as well as from young to old. I really enjoyed the scope of this book, expressed with such simplicity.

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Taeeun Yu
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

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