Notes from the Wild : Feeling Green

Notes from the Wild

In a previous post I mentioned my new pet project, a nonfiction kids book club, and shared a few of the insect-related books I’d found to share. I enjoyed writing that post so much that I’m back again with another installment, this time focused on plants! There are so many wonderful nonfiction titles out there that can help children explore and learn to appreciate our natural world and the people who study and work to preserve it. Here are just a few titles I’ve uncovered!

The Tree Lady : The True Story of How One Tree-loving Woman Changed a City Forever – Hopkins, H. Joseph

Kate Sessions was a true pioneer. Not only was she the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she also helped transform her adopted hometown of San Diego from a lifeless desert to a lush and green community, thanks to her green thumb and limitless ingenuity.

Plant Secrets – Goodman, Emily

Colourful illustrations and simple text introduce young children to the life cycles of different plants in this beautiful, approachable book.

Don’t Touch That! The Book of Gross, Poisonous, and Downright Icky Plants and Critters – Day, Jeff

Gross, poisonous and icky? With silly illustrations and a title like that, you’ve got a definitely kid-pleaser on your hands!

Sequoia – Johnston, Tony

A beautifully illustrated, lyrically written ode to one of the oldest and most majestic living beings on the planet, the mighty sequoia tree.

Redwoods – Chin, Jason

When a young boy stumbles upon a book about the mighty redwood forests, he is transported into an incredible world populated by ancient trees of staggering beauty.

Deep Roots : How Trees Sustain Our Planet – Tate, Nikki

This beautifully photographed (and locally published!) celebration of trees looks at the many ways in which trees impact our lives, and examines the deep roots that connect all living things together.

A Little Guide to Trees – Voake, Charlotte

There’s no reason that a nonfiction title can’t be beautifully and charmingly illustrated as well as factual! This sweet guide to trees is perfect for younger budding arborists.

Trees, Leaves and Bark – Burns, Diane L.

This beautifully illustrated field guide to North American trees encourages young readers to get out and explore their natural environment.

A Seed is Sleepy – Aston, Dianna Hutts

A poetic and elegant introduction to the life cycles of plants.

If nothing else, I hope these posts inspire you to look at children’s nonfiction in a bit of a different light. There’s really so much variety in this genre, and with so many different literary and visual styles, tones and approaches there’s really something to appeal to almost every young reader!

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

After years of research, reading hundreds of books and countless articles, watching documentary films, visiting museums and libraries, speaking with many people, including surviving code talkers, there was an immense amount of history that I felt needed to be told. As a result, [my] first full draft was so heavy with facts — names, dates, […]

A Few Resources from Reconciliation and Indigenous Education

A Few Resources from Reconciliation and Indigenous Education

For the past two months, I’ve been taking UBC’s Edx course on Reconciliation and Indigenous Education. Somehow I missed the fact that the “education” in the title wasn’t just the theory but the practice: this course is primarily aimed at educators, and most of my (literally hundreds of) classmates were teachers or professors. However, although […]

I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer; illustrations by Gillian Newland

I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer; illustrations by Gillian Newland

A bookseller friend (hi, Leah!) informs me that because of long awaited and long-overdue curriculum changes in BC elementary schools that place more emphasis on the residential school system, teachers are rushing out to buy books like Fatty Legs and I Am Not a Number in droves. These books are flying off the shelves like hotcakes. It’s easy to […]

Immigration in the books of Laurence Yep

Immigration in the books of Laurence Yep

Looking for an immigration story? Try Laurence Yep. More recently known for the charming A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans, co-written with his wife, Joanne Ryder, Laurence Yep is also famed for his many middle grade novels. The Tiger’s Apprentice series, for instance, an engaging fantasy with characters from Chinese mythology (the […]